Two studio juggernauts will be vying for your attention this week, one on streaming (“Mulan”) and the other in cinemas (“Tenet”). But, surprisingly, it was a little romcom called “Love, Guaranteed” that really captured the attention of YouGov users.
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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In “Love, Guaranteed” earnest lawyer Susan (Rachael Leigh Cook) takes a high paying case from Nick (Damon Wayans Jr.), a charming new client who wants to sue a dating website that guarantees love. But as the case heats up, so do Susan and Nick's feelings for each other.
The trailer for “Love, Guaranteed” was the most effective at persuading users to consider seeing a film this week. Before viewing the trailer, 19 percent of respondents said they were likely or somewhat likely to see this new Netflix film. After watching the trailer, that number rose to 41 percent. That's a lift of 22 percentage points in intent, the highest lift this week. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the trailer had a particular appeal to female audiences: over half of female YouGov Direct users who viewed the trailer said they were likely to see this rom com (54%) -- compared with 29 percent of men.
The trailer for “Love, Guaranteed” was also the most effective at persuading people to consider subscribing to the streaming service that hosts it. There was an increase of 3 percentage points in intent to subscribe to Netflix after users watched the trailer, once again the highest increase this week.
So what made this trailer stand out from its big budget competitors? Well, it appears Netflix’s mission to lead the romcom revival is paying off. When we asked viewers what they liked best about the trailer, nearly half of all respondents picked the film’s well worn romcom storyline and themes (46%). A further 31 percent said they like that the trailer “communicated the story line without giving away too much of the plot.”
The other trailer turning heads this week was for “Tenet,” Christopher Nolan's latest action packed, brain teaser. The film follows “the Protagonist”, an unnamed CIA operative, as he journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time.
The trailer for Nolan’s high concept thriller didn’t do as well at persuading people to see a film as the decidedly less cerebral “Love, Guaranteed.” Prior to seeing the trailer, 17 percent of YouGov Direct respondents said they were likely to see this time-bending movie. After viewing the clip on the YouGov Direct App, 31 percent said they were now likely to see it.
Despite that, the film’s trailer was highly rated by users. YouGov Direct asks respondents to tell us how good or bad they think a movie will be, based on the trailer and this week they gave “Tenet” the top score of 3.7. This is out of a possible 5.0 and compared to a median score of 3.5 for all trailers tested to date.
Nolan’s film is only available in theaters. So far it’s nabbed a strong $53 million at the overseas box office.
When we asked YouGov Direct users if they would prefer to see the film in cinemas, the answer was no. Of those who said they were likely to see the movie after watching the trailer, around a third said they would prefer to see the film in cinemas right away (35%). 65 percent said they would rather wait and watch via download service later.
Disney’s latest live action adventure, “Mulan,” rounds out this week’s trailers. Many viewers will be familiar with the story from the 1998 animation but for those who are not, “Mulan” follows a fearless young woman who disguises herself as a man to battle northern invaders in China.
“Mulan” was the most anticipated film this week amongst YouGov Direct members. Nearly every single respondent was aware of the movie going into the survey (98%).But that level of awareness did not translate into interest. Pre-trailer, 15 percent said they were likely to see this fantasy adventure. Post-trailer, that number rose to 22 percent. That’s a lift of 7 percentage points in intent to view, making it the least effective trailer of the week.
This live action remake was originally destined for cinemas before the coronavirus pandemic forced movie theaters to close their doors. Instead it will be premiering this week on Disney’s new streaming service. To watch the movie this weekend you will need to first have a Disney+ subscription, which costs $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year, and then have to pay a separate one time $29.99 fee.
When we asked YouGov Direct users in a separate survey if they were planning to watch “Mulan” when it became available on September 4th, the answer was largely negative (68%). The main reason for this, according to users, was that they were not willing to subscribe to Disney+ in order to see “Mulan” (35%). A further 27 percent said they would be willing to sign up to Disney+ but not to pay the additional $29.99 fee to see it.
This attitude was confirmed by YouGov Direct members who took part in the trailer survey. The trailer for “Mulan” was the least effective at persuading viewers to subscribe to its streaming service this week. There was an increase of 1 percentage points in intent to subscribe to Disney+ after users watched the trailer, 2 percentage points lower than “Love, Guaranteed.”
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Methodology: Data is based on 4,000 interviews, including a minimum of 400 responses for each movie trailer tested. Surveys were conducted online on September 3, 2020.