Data Journalist

When it comes to movie trailers, just a few minutes of footage can help make or break a film. A strong trailer can draw viewers in and allow them to form opinions and make purchase decisions about their future filmgoing plans. 

Each week, we ask a group of YouGov Direct members to watch movie trailers, and then we report on what they say. We investigate how effective movie trailers are in persuading people to consider going to see a film in theaters, what users think about the content of the trailer, and how good or bad they expect the movie to be. Thousands of people are able to provide immediate feedback on movie trailers using the YouGov Direct platform.

Learn more about YouGov Direct and find YouGov Direct on the App Store and on Google Play.  

This week, the trailer for superhero epic “Bloodshot” especially intrigued potential moviegoers. 

"Bloodshot," starring Vin Diesel as the eponymous hero, tells the story of a marine who was killed-in-action, only to be brought back to life and given superpowers by an organization that seeks to make him a weapon. 

 

Before viewing the trailer, 15 percent of YouGov Direct users said that they were likely to see this movie in theaters in the coming weeks. After viewing the trailer, about one-third (34%) percent said they were somewhat or very likely to see "Bloodshot" - a jump of 19 percentage points.

What did they like about the trailer? Nearly half, 46 percent said they liked the story or theme shown in the preview, while 32 percent liked one or more of the characters. An equal number (32%) liked one or more of the actors. 

“The Hunt,” a wide-release movie that is already being called controversial by some critics, also saw some lift in viewing intent based on its politically tinged trailer. This darkly humorous action-adventure film follows a group of 12 strangers who realize they’re being hunted for sport by a group of rich and powerful people.   

 

Prior to seeing the trailer, 17 percent of YouGov Direct respondents said they were likely to see this film. After viewing the clip on the YouGov Direct App, 27 percent said they were likely to see it. 

Notably, more people had heard about this movie prior to seeing the trailer compared with other wide-release films of the week. A large portion of those surveyed, 84 percent, had heard of “The Hunt” prior to seeing the trailer on YouGov Direct. Slightly less (78%) had heard of “Bloodshot” and 77 percent had heard of “I Still Believe,” another wide-release trailer of the week.  

These major films weren’t the only trailers to capture viewers this week. Two limited-release movies, “The Postcard Killings” and “Human Nature,” also turned heads. 

Based on a novel by James Patterson and Liza Marklund, “The Postcard Killings,” follows a detective working to find his daughter’s murderer -- before the killer strikes again. 

Prior to seeing the trailer, 10 percent of YouGov Direct users said they were somewhat or very likely to see the film.

 

After seeing the trailer, 35 percent of respondents said they were likely to see this film when it hits theatres, indicating a lift of 25 percentage points. 

“Human Nature” is a documentary about the gene-editing process of CRISPR, and what this technology could mean for medicine, society, nature, and evolution.

 

This film saw a lift of 25 percentage points before and after users had a chance to see the trailer. Pre-trailer, 14 percent said they were likely to see this movie. Post-trailer, more than one-third (35%) said they were likely to see this movie in the next couple of weeks. 

YouGov Direct also asks respondents to tell us how good or bad they think a movie will be, based on the trailer. ”Bloodshot,” “Human Nature,” and “The Postcard Killings” come out on top on this measure, all with scores of 3.7 vs. a maximum score of 5.0 and a median score of 3.5 for all trailers tested to date. 

Finally, YouGov Direct also offers members the opportunity to look at showtimes and ticket purchasing options in their area through Fandango.

Roughly 3 percent of YouGov Direct users who saw the trailer for “The Postcard Killings” clicked through to Fandango, compared to a benchmark of approximately 1 percent for the typical trailer tested in the platform. About 2 percent clicked through to see options for “Big Time Adolescence,” “The Hunt,” and “Human Nature.”

Related: 

 

Image: Getty

Methodology: Data is based on 4,000 interviews, including a minimum of 400 responses for each movie trailer tested.  Interviews were conducted through the YouGov Direct app on March 12, 2020.


 

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