Jamie Foxx’s new film “Project Power” knocked the competition out this week

August 14, 2020, 8:00 PM UTC

What makes a trailer stand out? According to YouGov Direct users, it’s all about the basics. When we asked them what they liked best about the trailers for this week’s new releases, their top answer every time was the trailer’s story or themes.

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.

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

Netflix’s new film “Project Power” knocked out the competition out this week, taking home the mantle of most popular and most effective trailer. The flick follows a teenage drug dealer and a local cop as they team up with a grumpy ex-soldier. Their aim: take down the shadowy cartel responsible for a pill that gives its users unpredictable superpowers for five minutes.  

Before viewing the trailer, 17 percent of respondents said they were likely or somewhat likely to see this sci-fi action film. After watching the trailer, that number rose to 42 percent. That's a lift of 25 percentage points in intent, 9 percent higher than the film's closest competitor - “Magic Camp”. 

Fans of action films were particularly enthused by Netflix’s new offering. Of those who said they were fans of the action genre, 46 percent said they were likely to see the movie after viewing the clip on the YouGov Direct App. But you don’t have to be an action fan to get excited for this New Orleans set caper. About half (49%) of animated film fans, for example, said they were likely to watch the action film after viewing the clip. 

So what made it such an effective trailer? Story and themes aside, one of the biggest draws of “Project Power” was its A-list cast, which includes Jamie Foxx and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Over a third of viewers (34%) said it was ‘one or more of the actors depicted’ when we asked them what they liked best 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 and this week they gave “Project Power” the top score of 3.6. This is out of a possible 5.0 and compared to a median score of 3.5 for all trailers tested to date. The second highest score of the week - 3.4 - went to the Disney+ comedy “Magic Camp”.

  

“Magic Camp” follows a straight-laced banker as he returns to the magic camp of his youth, hoping to relive his glory days. Instead he is tasked with babysitting a bunch of young magicians-in-training. The film stars Adam DeVine, Jeffrey Tambor and Gillian Jacobs.

Viewers were more aware of “Magic Camp” than “Project Power” prior to viewing both trailers. Of those who took part in the survey, 19 percent had not heard of the Disney comedy whereas 35 percent of users had not heard of “Project Power.” This may be because the premiere of “Magic Camp” was set for 2018, but was then promptly delayed when allegations of sexual misconduct were levelled against Tambor. 

Despite a higher level of awareness surrounding this action packed comedy, the trailer for “Magic Camp” was nowhere near as effective as it’s Netflix rival in terms of persuading people to consider seeing a film. Pre-trailer, 11 percent said they were likely to see this family film. Post-trailer, that number rose to 27 percent. 

The trailer did, however, appear to appeal to one group in particular: urbanites. Over a third of users (34%) that live in a city said they were likely to watch the film after viewing the trailer. This figure was 20 percent for users who live in the suburbs. Perhaps, like the movie’s central character Andy Tuckerman, they, too, were looking for an escape from city life.

“Magic Camp” was even less successful at persuading people to consider subscribing to its streaming service. There was an increase of 0 percentage points in intent to subscribe to Disney+ after users watched the trailer for the comedy. 

The most successful at persuading users to consider subscribing to their streaming service this week were the documentaries “Boys State” (Apple  TV+) and “Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn” (HBO Max). Both films had an increase of 2 percentage points in intent to subscribe after users watched their trailers.

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Image: Getty

Methodology: Data is based on 4,000 interviews, including a minimum of 400 responses for each movie trailer tested. Surveys were conducted online on August 13, 2020.