CinemaCon: Film Critics Still Have Clout, Study Finds

9:20 AM PST 03/24/2014 by Rebecca Ford
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Nielsen's annual American Moviegoing report says 41 percent of millennials check the average critic rating on websites.

Although the field of film criticism has faced some challenges due to competition from social media, a new study reports that critics still have clout over moviegoing decisions.

Nielsen's annual American Moviegoing report says that 41 percent of millennials check the average critic rating on websites, such as Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb, before attending a movie.

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The report -- which comes as the CinemaCon convention for studio distributors and theater owners kicks off in Las Vegas -- also found that eight out of 10 moviegoers still refer to movie reviews at least some of the time when they're considering what films to see.

"As movie studios plan their marketing budgets for next year's blockbuster movies, they should consider that most moviegoers are using social media to get their information," said Kathy Benjamin, senior vp of Nielsen National Research Group (NRG), in a statement. "Taking advantage of the potential that social networks provide will be important to connect with their audiences."

The study found that moviegoers are connecting through social media platforms, with about 81 percent of moviegoers using Facebook, while 34 percent use Twitter, followed by Pinterest (21 percent), Google+ (20 percent), and Instagram (18 percent).

The report also notes that moviegoers who used Facebook liked or followed a movie 25 percent of the time and were equally as likely as Twitter users to talk about movies on social media. Facebook users are also 15 percent more likely to watch trailers or movie clips.

The report was released on the same day that a panel at CinemaCon will focus on the status of film critics today. "Rotten Tomatoes Critics vs. The Audience: The Relevance of Film Critics Today" will feature four film critics discussing "Do reviews matter anymore?"

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