BET Networks Demystifies the Psychology of Black Movie Goers With New Report "REEL FACTS: A Movie Goer Consumption Study" New study finds that African Americans have a voracious appetite for entertainment, embrace black movies and more

Report details incredible $6.3 Billion Buying Power of African Americans

NEW YORK, May 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- BET Networks unveiled a new report that challenges the Hollywood mindset that African Americans only support black movies and outlines the $6.3 Billion buying power of this demographic. According to REEL FACTS: A Movie Goer Consumption Study on average, 81% of the movies seen by African Americans do not prominently feature an African American cast, storyline or lead black star. The study provides an in-depth understanding of African American movie goers and their consumption patterns versus general market movie goers. The report also states that while traditionally, African Americans do support films in which their own images/likenesses are featured, this group is also just as engaged with mass appeal general market films since the leading criteria for movie selection is based on genre.

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"The findings in REEL Facts prove what we've known all along, which is contrary to what many studios and marketers think, African Americans are a valuable patron of different genres of film and see the platform of television as an important resource in making a decision in this category," said Louis Carr, President of Advertising at BET Networks. "While African Americans seek content that reflects their lives, the movies consumed are not limited to one type of storyline."

REEL Facts: A Movie Goer Consumption Study also revealed the top five key characteristics of an African American movie goer:

  1. Extreme Movie Buffs – African Americans have no problem making that trek to the movies accounting for 195 Million trips to the movie theaters annually.  On average, African Americans make frequent visits to the movies (13.4 times per year vs. 11 times per year for general market movie goers*).  
  2. High Engagement and Receptivity – African Americans see TV as the most influential medium to capture their attentions. Top three movie info resources valued highly by REEL Facts respondents:  TV commercials (65%), In-theater movie trailers (55%) and Family/friend recommendations (54%).
  3. Repeat Viewers – 62% of black movie goers admit to seeing movies they like multiple times accounting for an additional $513 Million in additional revenue to movie studio coffers.
  4. Movie Goers Have "Platinum Shine" – On average, African Americans are the most avid movie patrons going to the movies more than 2 times/per month, accounting for a minimum of 28 times during the year.
  5. Digital Tekkies –African Americans are digitally inclined and consume heavy amounts of all types of media:  67% own desktop/laptop computers; 62% are heavy online users accessing (11+ hours weekly); 64% are gaming/music video enthusiasts and 37% are heavy TV/DVR viewers.

"REEL Facts, along with our other consumer insights, proves that the black consumer is not monolithic and that it's all about engaging content, cultural awareness and satisfaction as high-end consumers," said Matthew Barnhill, SVP of Market Research at BET Networks. "The African American community has diverse tastes, an appetite for quality movies and entertainment that can range from blockbuster mainstream action films to African American romantic comedies."

BET's REEL Facts confirmed this by asking respondents to name verbatim the last three films seen in the past year. Only three (or 16%) of the top films in 2010-2011 year to date mentioned by black movie goers featured a predominantly African American cast, storyline or lead black star:

  1. For Colored Girls**
  2. Big Mamma's House: Like Father, Like Son**
  3. Battle Los Angeles
  4. Limitless
  5. Green Hornet
  6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows
  7. Black Swan
  8. Red Riding Hood
  9. Despicable Me
  10. I Am Number 4
  11. Inception
  12. Paul
  13. Roommate
  14. Saw 3-D
  15. Toy Story 3
  16. Twilight Eclipse
  17. Why Did I Get Married Too?**
  18. Adjustment Bureau
  19. Iron Man 2

The research also shows that African Americans choose movies based on genre first and then look at other criteria. According to the report, the genres that African Americans spent the most on at the movie theater are: Comedy ($3.6 Billion), Action Adventure ($2.8 Billion), Romance ($1.6 Billion), Sci-Fi/Fantasy Horror ($1.2 Billion), Animation ($1.2 Billion), Drama ($1.1 Billion), Mystery/Suspense ($1.1 Billion) and Children/Teen/Family Fare ($835 Million).

REEL Facts also found that black movie goers are young, highly educated, affluent and employed. The study stated that movies are a popular entertainment past time among African Americans and defined the typical African American movie consumer to be:

  • Younger – 39% of African American movie patrons are Millennials ages 16-24
  • Educated – 30% are college graduates plus having obtained a BA/BS or advanced degree
  • Affluent – 35% have incomes in excess of $50,000 plus
  • Work Force Strong – 52% are employed either full or part time

Source:  BET Networks' REEL FACTS: A Movie Goer Consumption Study of African Americans respondents (n=1080) of the Top Films seen in 2010-2011 year to date. 

* General market movie goers include REEL FACTS Caucasian and Hispanic study respondents.

** Denotes film with lead black actor, cast or storyline with African American themes.

Survey Methodology

BET Networks Corporate Research administered an online panel questionnaire to 2,500 16-49 year olds in March-April 2011 among African Americans, Hispanics and Caucasians. All data analyzed for REEL FACTS: A Movie Goer Consumption Study is statistically significant at the 95% confidence level.  In the analysis, respondents were asked to identify important /least important factors in their movie decision-making.  BET Networks partnered with Ipsos OTX for panel recruitment/ sample fielding and The Artemis Group for statistical analysis/weighting expertise.

About BET Networks

BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation's leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the 25- to 54-year-old African-American audience; BET Digital Networks - BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company with festivals and live events spanning the globe; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET in the United Kingdom and oversees the extension of BET network programming for global distribution.

SOURCE BET Networks



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