53% of people visiting movie theatres today are women: report
New Delhi: Brands looking to target young consumers, especially women, may just have a revelation in store for them.
A new report titled ‘At A Theatre Near You’ by Interactive TV, the cinema advertising unit of media agency GroupM, says 53% of the people visiting movie theatres today are women. “The general perception is that women don’t watch films as much as men do. That probably comes from the conditions prevalent way back in the 1970s and 80s, when the angry young man and action films dominated the screens and theatres were not places meant for women,” said Ajay Mehta, head, Interactive TV. “That is increasingly changing as cinema infrastructure improves and content evolves to cater to it.”
The report curated in collaboration with market research, survey and business consultancy firm IMRB is an attempt to study the urban movie-goers and correlate their lifestyle and purchase habits to their film-viewing decisions. Youngsters between the ages of 15-24 years make up the majority of film-going audience in India, according to the findings.
“The fact that you can catch an 18-year-old at a movie theatre is the most significant takeaway of the report according to me,” said Mehta said. “That is an extremely tough demographic to address, they are always on the move and don’t read newspapers. But equally important from an advertising perspective.”
Agrees Gautam Datta, chief executive officer, PVR Ltd: “The youth has always been an opportunity for advertisers and this report confirms the same. Also, it gets the focus back on cinema which has a captive audience base and is much sought-after for advertising for all sectors from retail to telecom.”
The door-to-door survey was carried out with a sample size of 3,030 in the age group of 15-55 year olds in top metro cities, including Delhi and the National Capital Region, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Pune.
The report states that 57% of the respondents watched a film in a theatre once in six months. An even higher percentage—61%—said the film outings are linked to social interactions and family time. On the other hand, nearly 39% of the people who go to watch a film go by the star cast and word-of-mouth.
In fact, about 63% of the audience watches movies in the first week of release, while 36% go for them in the first weekend itself. Factors that influence the decision to watch a film include availability of tickets, distance to the theatre, lack of new releases (in which case they go watch an older one) and ticket rates.
78% of the audience still buys its tickets directly from the counter and 51% reach the theatre 15 minutes before the start of the film.
“That’s a huge opportunity from an advertiser’s perspective to engage and attract them,” Mehta said. Once at the venue, the report stated, viewers are likely to notice ground activations like posters and standees, among other things. 50-60% of them also find theatre advertisements more interesting than TV ads.
Despite the influx of online streaming platforms and devices, traditional media remains the prime space to view films even today. While 54% of the audience prefers to catch releases on television, 39% flock to theatres and only 7% look at other devices.
“The lack of entertainment options in the country makes movies part of people’s lifestyle,” Mehta said. “That perhaps also explains the spectacular success of films like Baahubali and some Hollywood offerings lately.”