Turning to the movies themselves, according to Nielsen National Research Group’s 2012 American Movie-Going Report, 70% of Americans ages 12 – 74 reported seeing one or more movies at a theater in the last year. The survey, conducted among a representative group of more than 3,000 Americans across age, gender and race, shows that overall attendance for new release movies was pretty much the same as a year ago – an average of 6.8 movies per person compared with 6.9 in 2011. African-Americans comprise 11% of the movie-going population, led by the Baby Boomers in our group. And, according to the African-American Consumer Report, these were our top 10 movies for the first half of 2012 and the gross box office earnings:
1. Think Like A Man $91,547,205
2. Madea’s Witness Protection $55,611,721
3. Red Tails $49,875,589
4. Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds $35,010,192
5. Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day $1,201,562
6. Beasts of the Southern Wild $1,692,675
7. Pariah $758,099
8. A Beautiful Soul $54,008
9. Restless City $8,106
10. Elevate $3,547
Hispanics are the heaviest movie-goers, representing 18% of the movie-going population and accounting for 25% of all movies seen. The American Movie-Going report shows that although there were slightly more female movie-goers, 51%, than male movie-goers, 49%, men nonetheless accounted for 55% of theatrical attendance.
While it’s always fun to root for our favorites during awards season and see how our movie-going trends vary – or not – from year-to-year, this is big business. Hollywood speaks fluent “green,” as in moolah, or cash.Our behavior is watched very closely by the entertainment industry and advertisers who tailor their products, their decisions and the way they reach you according to how you choose to wield your economic clout at the box office with your pocketbook or with your remote at home. So, if you enjoy seeing quality movies that are inclusive of Blacks, show up in large numbers when those movies come out. That’s truly the only way for everyone to have a happy ending!
Cheryl Pearson-McNeil is senior vice president of Public Affairs and Government Relations for Nielsen. For more information and studies go to www.nielsenwire.com.