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Why Diverse On-Screen Representation Drives Cinema Audiences

Both The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media at Mount Saint Mary's University (the “Institute”) and Movio have published extensive research on the topic of representation in media. Movio has traditionally focused specifically on the theatrical exhibition sector and audience data, whereas the Institute primarily captures on-screen data and analysis. Our organizations therefore share an interest in studying the intersection of on-screen data and audience data. 

While both the Institute and Movio have explored this subject in the past, doing so independently (limited by our unique data specialities) prohibits the ability to examine the “on-screen to audience relationship” at a meaningful scale.

To produce a macro view of the correlations between content and audience, we’ve joined forces, combining our data sets to enable a comprehensive analysis across hundreds of titles. In our latest white paper, I Want To See Me: Why Diverse On-Screen Representation Drives Cinema Audiences, we explore whether what’s shown on screen affects who shows up in the audience. 

We focused our research on three key questions:

  • Does the presence of certain groups (Race/Ethnicity, Gender, Age) on screen draw larger numbers of the corresponding audience?
  • What negative or positive portrayals of certain groups are different viewers seeing in the most popular films?
  • What portrayals of certain groups are child viewers seeing in the most popular films?

Discover the insights and full research below. 

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