Viewers show some love for “The Father”

February 26, 2021, 9:15 PM UTC

Break out the popcorn. New York City received the greenlight to open movie theatres next week, albeit at limited capacity, and new YouGov data shows that nearly three quarters (72%) of Americans support theaters reopening in their community under the same measures. 

But what should New York city residents watch first? They might want to check out a trailer or two to help them decide.  

Each week YouGov Direct investigates how effective a collection of movie trailers is 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.

The most effective trailer of the week belongs to “The Father”. This moving drama stars Anthony Hopkins as a man who refuses all assistance from his daughter as he ages. As he tries to make sense of his changing circumstances, he begins to doubt his loved ones, his own mind and even the fabric of his reality.

Before viewing the trailer, 16% of respondents said they were very or somewhat likely to see this devastatingly empathetic portrayal of dementia. Post trailer, that number increased to 45%. 

Despite its focus on the perils of aging, the trailer for “The Father” appealed to viewers of all generations. More than two-fifths of respondents between 18 and 39 years old said they were somewhat or very likely to see the flick post-trailer (45%).  

YouGov Direct 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, “The Father” came out on top with a score of 3.9. This is compared to a median score of 3.5 for all trailers tested to date.

So what made the trailer for “The Father” stand out? The films' Golden Globe-nominated cast was a big draw for viewers. Half of all respondents said their favorite thing about the trailer was one or more of the actors featured (50%). A further 47% said it was the film’s powerful story and themes. 

The trailer for “The Father” was also able to persuade a number of viewers to consider getting off their sofa and seeing the film in a brick-and-mortar cinema. Of those who said they were likely to see the movie after watching the trailer, just over a third said they would prefer to see it in theatres right away (35%). That figure was even higher for this week’s other cinematic release, the Russo brother’s opioid crime-drama “Cherry” (37%).  

The other 65%, however, would rather skip the trip and watch “The Father” via streaming or download services at a later date.   

 But “The Father” wasn't the only trailer turning heads this week. Hanna-Barbera’s famous frenemies make the jump from TV to the big screen in HBO Max’s live action comedy “Tom & Jerry”. 

Of all the films we tested this week “Tom & Jerry” had the highest level of pre trailer interest. Prior to seeing the trailer, just over one in five YouGov Direct respondents said they were somewhat or very likely to see this high spirited animated film (22%). After viewing the clip on the YouGov Direct platform, 40% of respondents said they were now likely to see it. 

The beloved cartoon characters first appeared on television screens in 1965 and YouGov Direct users may have been hungry for some childhood nostalgia. When asked what they liked best about the trailer, more than two-fifths (44%) of respondents said it was one or more of the characters. 

YouGov Direct also offers members the opportunity to learn more about a film after watching the trailer. “Tom & Jerry'' had the highest click-through rate of any movie being released on streaming and video-on-demand services this week (11.1%). This is compared to an average click-through rate of 6.8% for all trailers tested to date. The second highest click through rate belonged to Apple TV+ documentary “Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry ” (9.9%). 
 

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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 February 25, 2021.