Young males drifting away from cinemas

01 January, 1970 by Don Groves

Latest research from Roy Morgan confirms a drop-off in cinemagoing among young males.

The decline in attendances by 14-17 year-olds in 2014 was the only significant change in the key demos.

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The research commissioned by Val Morgan shows the percentage of each age group that had been to cinemas in the past four weeks and the average number of times those people had been, averaged across the year.

The 14-17s fell from 8.8% in 2013 to 8.1% last year, to the consternation of some distributors. “A reduction of 8% in 14-17 year-olds is a bit alarming,” Paramount Pictures MD Mike Selwyn told IF.

“I wonder if the male drop is bigger as girls stay loyal to their franchises and boys play video games?”

Actually the gender split in that age group is fairly even.  In 2014 it was 4.1% for males and 4% for females, and in 2013 4.1% and 4.7% respectively.

Perhaps surprisingly, cinema visits by the 50-plus age group were off slightly, from 30.3% to 29.8%.

Universal Pictures MD Mike Baard observes there is a worldwide downward trend in cinemagoing by young males.

“That age group has more diversions and choices than ever before,” Baard said. “They are being more selective in what they see, how they see it and when they see it.”

However Baard points out the demo stats and the national B.O. drop of 2.28% last year should be seen in the context of what he describes as a “uniquely soft year for major films.”

In common with exhibitors and other distributors, Baard is very bullish about the slate for the rest of this year, which is packed with films that should resonate strongly with the younger demo. 

Village Cinemas CEO Kirk Edwards said, “We are not seeing any drop in this demographic when the films are designed for them specifically.”

Edwards predicts Universal’s Fast & Furious 7, which launches April 2, will be the biggest April opening of all time and the biggest for the franchise, and its primary audience will be young males.

Val Morgan’s Paul Butler acknowledged the slight drop in 14-17s but said, “Overall the comparison shows the age profile is really consistent year- on-year.”

That’s reflected, he said, in the three top-grossing movies which were Iron Man 3, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Despicable Me 2 in 2013, and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 1, The Lego Movie and Transformers: Age of Extinction last year.

 

Average cinema visit profile


 

 

Jan – Dec
2013

Jan – Dec
2014

14-17's

8.8%

8.1%

18-24's

18.7%

18.6%

25-34's

21.5%

21.2%

35-49's

20.7%

21.1%

50-64's

17.9%

17.8%

65+'s

12.4%

12.0%


 

 

 

Source: Roy Morgan


 

Base: People 14+


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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