The trailer for the Liam Neeson crime thriller “Honest Thief” stole the show this week

October 16, 2020, 6:25 PM UTC

The man with a very particular set of skills is back, and he’s in this week's most effective trailer. Liam Neeson stars in “Honest Thief” as a notorious bank robber who turns himself in, only to be double-crossed by two ruthless FBI agents.

Each week YouGov Direct investigates how effective a collection of 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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Before viewing the trailer, 14% of respondents said they were very or somewhat likely to see this “Honest Thief”. After watching the trailer, that number jumped to nearly half of all viewers (46%).

Watchers who like crime dramas were especially enthusiastic about Neeson's latest offering. Of those who said they were fans of genre, 60% said they were likely to watch the flick post trailer. 

YouGov also asks respondents to tell us how good or bad they think a movie will be, based on the trailer. Of all the trailers we tested this week, “Honest Thief” came out on top with a score of 3.9 out of a possible 5.0. This is compared to a median score of 3.5 for all trailers tested to date. Members awarded the second highest rating to the Disney+ teen drama “Clouds” (3.7).  

So what made “Honest Thief” stand out from the crowd? Liam Neeson appears to have been a particular draw, as when we asked users what they liked best about the trailer nearly a third said it was”‘one or more of the actors depicted”. A further 51% of YouGov Direct users said they enjoyed the thriller’s “story or theme”.  

YouGov Direct users, however, did not seem to be interested in watching “Honest Thief” in cinemas. Of those who indicated that they were likely to see this revenge thriller after watching the trailer, 76% said they would rather skip the movie theater and watch it via streaming or download services at a later date.

Tied for the second most effective trailer this week are the star-studded Netflix film “The Trial of the Chicago 7” and the video-on-demand adventure comedy “Love and Monsters”.

Seven years after the Monsterpocalypse, “Love and Monsters” follows a young man trying to reconnect with his high school girlfriend (and avoid being eaten by monsters). 

“The Trial of the Chicago 7” comes from Academy award-winning writer-director Aaron Sorkin. Based on the infamous 1969 trial, this powerful political film follows a group of seven defendants charged by the federal government for protesting against the Vietnam war. 

“Love and Monsters” was more popular with members after they viewed the trailer than “The Trial of the Chicago 7”. Prior to seeing the former trailer, 18% of respondents said they were likely to watch this apocalyptic rom-com. Post viewing, 42% said they were now likely to watch it online. 

Before watching the trailer for “The Trial of the Chicago 7” 16% of users said they were likely to see this weighty courtroom drama. Post trailer that number rose to 40%. The film's topical subject matter appears to have struck a nerve with viewers. When asked what they liked best about the trailer, nearly half of the members said it was the film's timely ‘story or themes’ (45%).

YouGov Direct offers members the opportunity to learn more about a film after watching the trailer. This week “Love and Monsters” had the highest click-through rate of any movie being released on streaming and video-on-demand services (14.3%). This is compared to an average click-through rate of 7% for all trailers tested to date.

Viewers were much less inclined to learn more about “The Trial of the Chicago 7” after watching the trailer. Just 4.3% of members clicked through to the site for the Netflix film. 

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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 October 15, 2020.