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What The Data Says: Who Was Watching This Summer's Blockbusters

This year’s summer season featured the return of some big name franchises like Pirates of the Caribbean and Despicable Me, as well as Wonder Woman’s big screen debut, Christopher Nolan’s Second World War epic, Dunkirk, and a surprise break-out, female-led comedy hit in Girls Trip. While there has been much discussion on the underperformance of many of this summer’s movies, there were undeniable box office success stories. So, who made the trip to the movies this summer? We take a closer look.

Using the Movio research console we delved into Movio Media’s data and discovered two key trends - movies that attracted a significant proportion of infrequent moviegoers, particularly females; and those movies that strongly appealed to male millennials.

Infrequent moviegoers (those who go to the movies fewer than four times a year) make up 14% of the average movie-going audience. Generally, for a blockbuster to be successful, it needs to draw a significant proportion of infrequent moviegoers into theatres. Movio Media’s data shows Girls Trip drew the highest volume of infrequent moviegoers at 25%, which is 79% higher than the audience for the average movie. Similarly, Despicable Me 3, Wonder Woman, The Emoji Movie and Dunkirk all drew over 20% of their audience from infrequent moviegoers with Pirates of the Caribbean 3: Dead Men Tell No Tales attracting 19%.

Infrequent Moviegoers

When we looked further into the data for these six movies, it was clear that they strongly appealed to infrequent female moviegoers. A quarter of the infrequent moviegoers for these six movies were female, which is 67% higher than the average number of infrequent female moviegoers at 15%.

Infrequent Female Audiences

Four of this summer’s top box office performers all strongly appealed to male millennials - a group that typically makes up 14% of the average movie audience. 25% of those who watched Spider-man: Homecoming were from this segment, with Baby Driver and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 drawing 24% and Wonder Woman 20%.

Male Millennial Audiences

As Movio Media’s data has shown, the success of some of this summer’s biggest blockbusters was underpinned by attracting specific audiences - whether infrequent moviegoers, infrequent female moviegoers or male millennials. For those less successful movies, this raises some key marketing questions: ‘which audiences didn’t show up and why?’, and ‘how could you target these specific audience segments throughout a movie’s theatrical window to drive greater box office revenue?’.

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