Movie-going, particularly around the warmer months when the big popcorn movies are released, is usually very much a guy thing. But that seems to be changing. The audience for three of the big movies released so far this year — Insurgent, Fifty Shades of Grey and Cinderella — were predominately women, each 60 percent or more female.
On the flip side, movies that one would expect might be geared more towards men — The Gunman (with Sean Penn), Hot Tub Time Machine 2 and Chappie, for instance — bombed.
“The shift had been noticeable enough to prompt movie executives and producers to ruminate about the causes and consider whether the big film factories should recalibrate their assembly lines,” writes The New York Times. The article says there are nearly 30 superhero movies in the pipeline for 2015, each costing about $100 million, all with men in mind.
This also comes at a time when people aren’t spending as much money going to see movies overall. Last year saw a six percent drop in ticket sales in North America. Now, with more women going to the movies, sales tallies are up five percent so far this year.
The New York Times says men are easily distracted by all the other forms of entertainment, like video games, while women, who showed their box office power going back to the Twilight movies, still want to hit the theaters.
Moreover, men tend to care less about story and more about effects while women are the opposite.
And the strategy of trying to provide movie offerings with broad appeal is no longer effective. Cinderella, for instance, was clearly aimed at women and girls and it’s the number one movie in the world.
All these reasons aside — and I would argue that these “girls like this… boys like that” reasoning is a problem as well — that means marketers ought to rethink their plans as well.
When we think of product placement, we think of the tie-ins with the usual blockbusters: cars, gadgets, maybe liquor companies. But now may be the time for companies with products geared towards women — fashion lines, beauty companies, hair care companies — to consider the options available in films as well.
And this is the time for those alcohol companies, gadget makers, app creators, fitness companies and other businesses to think about how they can better position themselves in front of the women who are shelling out money to consume them.
Movie partnerships are now a great way to get in front of a captive female audience. If you don’t shift your marketing, you could be missing a big opportunity.
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