OPINION I The Insights Family on the future of cinema

When kids and teenagers can access VOD via phones and tablets whenever they want and wherever they are, what can cinemas do to compete? Exploiting popular IPs, offering better value, harnessing the latest technology and enhancing – even personalising – the cinematic experience are all viable options, attest market intelligence experts The Insights Family.

In the US, visits to the cinema amongst 6-9 year olds halved in the summer of 2020, compared to the previous year in light of the pandemic. Over the last 12 months, the popularity of Netflix among 6-9s has increased by a minimum of +30% in Australia, Canada, Germany and Russia. So, as we look forward, what factors are going to drive customers back to cinemas in 2022?

Eighty per cent of the all-time top 10 highest-grossing movies worldwide are reboots or sequels to established franchises, suggesting familiar IP is what drives people to the cinema. With VOD platforms offering the convenience of engaging with new content at no additional cost, cinemas are faced with a difficult task: having customers part with their money with the risk they may not enjoy the experience. This risk is mitigated somewhat through sequels, remakes and reboots.

Of the aforementioned top 10 highest-grossing films, 70% are owned by Disney. In Kids Insights’ data, Disney also own three of the top five favourite characters amongst 6-9 year olds. This sequel culture isn’t going anywhere – Spiderman is the number one most anticipated film amongst this age bracket, as hype builds surrounding the release of the latest instalment in the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. As owners of IP continue to be rewarded for focusing on their recognisable imagery, it could be suggested that we are likely to see an increase in the number of reboots and sequels in the coming year, particularly as brands continue to prioritise guaranteed revenue in the economic fallout of the pandemic.

The cinema is still very much seen as the pinnacle of achievement for on-screen IPs and can introduce a new audience to the source material. PAW Patrol, the second most popular TV show amongst 3-5s globally, released a cinematic experience in August this year. In the UK, popularity for the TV show increased by +75% amongst this audience in the months following the movie’s release, relative to the three months prior. By producing content in relation to existing popular IP, there is a significant opportunity to resonate with the target audience through licensing and merchandising. 3-5 year old Paw Patrol fans in the UK are +24% more likely to purchase licensed toys than the average kid.

However, the VOD market is here to stay. The Insights Family anticipates that the cinema will lean more towards highlighting the experiential aspect of a potential visit to effectively drive footfall. Since the beginning of the year, the value of experiences among young teenagers has grown by +15% in Russia, Japan, Germany and India. Now that the content itself is available at no additional cost to the consumer, with shorter windows from screen to home, the cinema should look towards providing an experience worth paying for, making that the USP. More comfortable lounge-seating and food/drinks seat-service are a few strategies to create a more enjoyable experience for the average movie-goer.

Additionally, we will see more budget cinema options, to compete with the cost-effective, on-demand option. In the US, the average young teen spends $9.54 a month on the cinema – according to the MPAA, the average ticket price in 2020 was $9.34, leaving no space for a repeat visit in a single month. Just one-in-ten US 13-15s visit the cinema two or more times a month, and this figure halves when considering three-plus visits.

What we will therefore see is a fragmentation of the cinematic market, mirroring the rest of the kids’ entertainment ecosystem. With more content and viewing options available than ever before, kids are able to tune in with the flexibility and personalised approach that they come to expect as the on-demand generation. Whether they value experiences, cost efficiency or convenience, there is a cinematic experience for them.

Further in the future, we will eventually see widespread adoption of more immersive technologies in the cinema environment. VR and AR for example, making use of full 360-degree filming capabilities isn’t a stretch of the imagination. Will we see the start of data being used to optimise the movie experience as per the viewer? In this sense, there is great potential to see advancements towards the gamification of movies. Perhaps an utterly personalised experience tailored to individual kids where they are the heroes?

To find out what other trends will be popular this year, The Insights Family launched their Future Forecast 2022 report. For the first time, the company is exploring not only kids and parents, but family ecosystems trends, based on Kids Insights™ and Parents Insights™ data. The report contains 10 predictions and trends which will impact advertising, content, licensing, marketing, product and retail strategies for brand owners.

To download the full complimentary Future Forecast 2022 report, visit: https://theinsightsfamily.com/futureforecast 

IMG renews representation agreement for French cinema icon Brigitte Bardot

IMG has renewed its exclusive representation agreement with Family Trademark to continue its work developing fashion collaborations for the icon of French new wave cinema, Brigitte Bardot.

The screen legend of ‘And God Created Woman,’ ‘The Contempt’ and other movies remains a style icon whose classic beauty and distinctive style continues to inspire generations of models and leading fashion designers. Throughout the 1960s and ’70s, the Bardot ‘look,’ including smoky cat-eye makeup, kitten heels and gingham capri pants, the off-the-shoulder top and bouffant hairstyle all established an unmistakably personal style that continues to influence fashion today.

Since 2015, IMG has been working with fashion labels to develop capsule collections and items that celebrate the Bardot legacy and the many fashion styles she made famous.

In January, IMG worked with designer Anine Bing following a personal letter by the latter to Bardot herself, describing the French icon as her “first inspiration” and “muse.” The resulting collection of three monochrome pieces depicting Terry O’Neill’s iconic images of Brigitte Bardot was worn by celebrities including Kate Bosworth and Poppy Delevingne and quickly sold out in Anine Bing stores around the world.

In addition to her film and fashion credentials, the rebellious star known as ‘B.B.’ is renowned for her lifelong advocacy for animals and the environment. This is reflected in various B.B. collaborations, including a new two-piece t-shirt collection featuring Terry O’Neil’s famous images with Massimo Dutti’s environmentally-friendly ‘Join Life’ label, launched in Massimo Dutti stores around the world and online this month.

This year has also seen the launch of a vegan, cruelty-free luxury haircare range with Brigitte Bardot’s signature citrus floral scent, available now from retailers including Urban Outfitters, Pretty Little Thing and Fenwick.

Additional recent collaborations have included collections with Mango, Joyrich, and Snidel, as well as a new range with Swedish high-end fashion brand Limitato which will arrive to stores later this year.

“Our work on the Brigitte Bardot brand with IMG bears witness to a mutual trust. Our aim is to pay homage to the fashion legacy of Brigitte Bardot with products that invoke the timeless glamour of her style and era with quality products that can be enjoyed by many and not only the ‘happy few,’” said Tanguy Toulemonde, CEO of Family Trademark.

Bruno Maglione, president of licensing, IMG, added: “Brigitte Bardot is a beauty and fashion icon without rival in terms of the continued relevance and aspirational appeal of her style.

“Bardot’s signature looks are so established that her name has become interchangeable with them. Our aim is to bring authentic images and storytelling to the many brands and designers who continue to be inspired by B.B. and her legacy.”

Disney’s Mulan will be landing on Disney+ with a UK date and price now confirmed

Disney’s live action remake of the animated hit Mulan will be streaming on Disney+ rather than hitting cinemas in the UK, and the studio has now revealed the premium price that subscribers will be paying in order to access it.

At the start of the month, Disney revealed its intentions to bypass the cinematic release of the movie in the US, taking it directly to its recently launched streaming platform Disney+. A move that was met with a fair amount of head-scratching by cinemas across the region, the question was posed as to whether the same roll-out plans would apply to the UK.

Originally due to be released in cinemas in March this year, Mulan suffered a number of delays at the hands of the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown measures taken across the world. The live-action remake will now be made available exclusively for Disney+ customers to buy for a premium price, on top of the monthly £5.99 subscription fee.

Disney confirmed that the film would be available for UK customers from September 4 for the additional price of £19.99. It follows the news that it will be made available to US customers from September 4 for a cost of $29.99.

It will also be made available via in-app purchasing on streaming services such as Apple TV, Google and Roku.

The move means viewers who buy Mulan will be able to stream the film multiple times and watch it on a number of devices where Disney+ is available, as long as they have an active subscription to the streaming service.

Expect cinema surge post-lockdown as UK’s viewing preferences are revealed in new survey

New research carried out by the pop culture agency, Experience12 has revealed the UK’s viewing preferences during lockdown while highlighting a desire among consumers to get back into cinemas as the world adjust to the new normal.

The wide-ranging survey of over 3,000 pop culture fans in the UK was collected between June 25th and July 2nd this year through the MCM Comic Con online channels. 80 per cent of the respondents were aged between 18 and 34 (48 per cent were in the 25 to 34 year old category; 32 per cent in the 18 to 24 category). Meanwhile, 58 per cent were male, 38 per cent female, 2 per cent non-conforming and 1 per cent transgender.

The survey revealed that 61 per cent of respondents prefer watching films to TV – which is backed up by the fact that two-thirds say they will be heading to their nearest cinema within two months of venues re-opening. A further 11 per cent said that they would go to watch a movie within three months.

The most anticipated theatrical releases have also been revealed via the research:

Top 10 Most Anticipated Films

  1. Wonder Woman 1984
  2. Bill & Ted Face the Music
  3. A Quiet Place Part II
  4. Tenet
  5. Mulan
  6. The King’s Man
  7. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
  8. Monster Hunter
  9. Candyman
  10. The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run


However, with most people still spending time at home, TV has been championed as a vital commodity to consumers during the lockdown period. Streaming services in general have emerged as consumers’ favourite way to view content, with 90 per cent opting for this format, compared to 4 per cent preferring on-demand TV and just 3 per cent choosing live TV.

Netflix leads the way in terms of subscriptions, with 92 per cent of respondents accessing this service, followed by Amazon Prime Video at 72 per cent.

Disney+ has enjoyed a fast uptake, with 62 per cent of respondents subscribing to the service, no doubt thanks to it boasting some of the biggest IP in entertainment, but also due to its discount launch campaign during the early weeks of the pandemic. Indeed, 47 per cent of the sample audience said that they had subscribed to Disney+ during lockdown.

In terms of on-demand TV services, the BBC iPlayer is way ahead, with 47 per cent of respondents claiming it as their favourite, compared to All 4 at 24 per cent, Sky Go at 14 per cent, and ITV Hub at just 3 per cent.

Netflix remains top when it comes to content, with 54 per cent of the TV, film and games fans claiming that the service makes the best TV shows. HBO came in at second place with 21 per cent of votes, with both Amazon Prime Video and the BBC also applauded for their output.

TV Series Most Excited About

  1. The Mandalorian S2
  2. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
  3. The Boys S2
  4. The Great British Bake Off
  5. RuPaul’s Drag Race
  6. Adventure Time: Distant Lands
  7. Doom Patrol S2
  8. Lovecraft Country
  9. Hanna S2
  10. Truthseekers

“Home entertainment has provided a lifeline for people during the lockdown – and still now, with many still spending much more time at home,” said Experience12 managing director, Chris Whittle.

“Netflix, Amazon Prime and now Disney+ are keeping the nation entertained and, while our research shows that Netflix retains the crown (and, indeed, The Crown) when it comes to the best content, it’s interesting to see that it’s actually output from Amazon Prime and Disney+, such as The Mandalorian S2, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and The Boys S2 which are the most anticipated.

“Meanwhile, it’s clear to see that pop culture fans are keen to get back to the cinema as soon as they can. Superhero movies are, as ever, what fans are looking forward to the most. But what’s interesting is that – while 79 per cent of our respondents claim to prefer Marvel over 21 per cent who prefer DC – the top two most anticipated movies come from the DC comic stable, namely Wonder Woman 1984 and Bill & Ted Face The Music.”


Minions: The Rise of Gru movie release date put on hold as France enters lockdown

Illumination and Universal’s Minions: The Rise of Gru has been moved from its global release slot of late June and early July owing to the deepening COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown in many countries across the globe.

The move was spurred by the current lockdown in France that incorporates Illumination’s Mac Guff studio in Paris.

Illumination founder and CEO, Chris Meledandri, said: “In response to the severity of the situation in France, we are temporarily closing our Illumination Mac Guff studio in Paris. With this decision we are abiding by the French Government’s guidelines and doing everything possible to slow the spread of the virus as we care for our artists and their families.

“This means we will be unable to finish Minions: The Rise of Gru in time for our planned global releases in late June and early July. While we all grapple with the enormity of this crisis, we must put the safety and proetection of our employees above all.

“We look forward to finding a new release date for the return of Gru and the Minions.”

In 2017, the Despicable Me franchise became the top grossing animated series worldwide. Efforts will be put in locking in a new release date for the film once global restrictions have been lifted.