Movie theaters could open up again soon in some parts of the country. In the meantime, audiences will have to make do with the at home movie experience and for many a central part of this experience is watching trailers. Viewers will still want to see a trailer before making the difficult decision of which films to skip or stream.
Each week, YouGov Direct asks a group of its members to watch movie trailers. We then report on what they say. YouGov Direct’s surveys investigate how effective movie trailers are in persuading people to consider seeing a film, what they think about the content of the trailer, and how good or bad they expect the movie to be. Thousands of people provide immediate feedback on movie trailers using the YouGov Direct platform.
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The most successful trailer this week was for the music infused comedy drama “The High Note.” Set in the fast paced world of the LA music scene, the film follows Grace, a middle aged superstar singer facing career decline. When Grace's manager presents her with a choice that could alter the course of her career, Grace and her assistant Maggie come up with a plan that could change their lives forever. “The High Note” is packed with famous faces, including Dakota Johnson, Ice Cube and Tracee Ellis Ross.
Prior to seeing the trailer, 19 percent of YouGov Direct respondents said they were likely to see this music business movie. But after viewing the trailer on the YouGov Direct App, 31 percent said they were now likely to see it. That's a lift of 12 percentage points in intent, the highest lift this week. The film was a particular hit with female audiences: 40 percent of YouGov Direct users who participate in trailer questions and identify as female said that they were likely to see this film, compared with 22 percent of those who identify as male.
The film’s topical themes seemed to strike a chord with respondents this week - regardless of their gender. When asked what they liked best about the trailer, over two thirds (38%) of panelists said it was the trailer's story or theme. The film has been making waves for its frank discussion of sexism, racism and ageism present within the music industry.
A further 26 percent of respondents said they liked the trailer’s soundtrack best. Fans of R&B music were especially excited about the film. Of the users who participate in the trailer questions and identify as fans of the R&B genre, 45 percent said they were likely to see the movie after watching the trailer. Perhaps unsurprisingly of panelists who identified as Hard Rock and Metal music fans, only 25 percent said they were interested in seeing the pop diva drama. Pop lovers certainly won't be disappointed. The film features a whole album of new original pop songs, which are already available to stream online.
The trailer for “Debt Collectors 2” also turned heads this week. But perhaps not for the right reasons.
This film is a sequel to the 2018 action thriller “Debt Collectors” and is helmed by former stuntman turned director Jesse V. Johnson. In “Debt Collectors 2,” French and Sue are back and headed to the city of sin for some more combat packed adventure.
YouGov Direct users were not especially interested in the action flick before watching the trailer. Pre-trailer, 9 percent said they were likely to see this B-movie buddy comedy. Post trailer, that number rose to 17 percent. The film played somewhat better with fans of action films. After watching the trailer, 22 percent of those who identified as fans of the genre said they were likely to watch the film.
But despite its epic bar brawls and old school action sequences, when we asked users what they liked about the trailer, 27 percent of users responded “I didn't like anything about the trailer”.
YouGov Direct also asks respondents to tell us how good or bad they think a movie will be, based on the trailer. “Debt Collectors 2” scored the lowest this week, with a score of 2.9. This is out of a possible 5.0 and compared to a median score of 3.5 for all trailers tested to date.
Respondents gave the best rating - 3.8 - to the trailer for Christopher Nolan’s new film “Tenet”. The high concept spy thriller is set to appear in cinemas across America this July. “The High Note” came in second place with a score of 3.5.
The trailer for Netflix rom com “The Lovebirds” hooked viewers hearts this week
Trailer for “The Vast of Night” helped reel in viewers this week
The trailer for HBO's documentary about actress Natalie Wood captured viewers this week
Hugh Jackman’s “Bad Education” seen as the most effective trailer this week
Methodology: Data is based on 4,000 interviews, including a minimum of 400 responses for each movie trailer tested.