Twitter Survey Explains Why Movie Tweets Matter

Movie Theater Interior - H 2012
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Movie Theater Interior - H 2012

According to a survey from Twitter and Nielsen, 140 characters can make a significant impact on moviegoing decisions.

A new survey from Twitter could offer up some clues to studios on how to bring audiences back to the movies this summer.

The social network teamed with Nielsen to study what influences a person's decision to see a film. The results? Of the moviegoers aged 13 and over who were surveyed, 87 percent said what they saw on Twitter influenced their recent movie choice. That number dropped to 47 percent when talking specifically about recommendations from family or friends on Twitter. 

That means that Twitter buzz, both positive and negative, about a film could have a significant impact on whether other fans check out the title. 

But people aren't using just Twitter to make film-related decisions. The survey, which polled people who had just exited the theater after seeing one of four big summer films, also found that 62 percent of moviegoers use the Internet or mobile apps to learn about upcoming films. And they're researching in advance. Of the Twitter users polled, nearly a third look up a movie a few months before its theatrical release and a fifth seek out information a month before opening day.  

In a post on the company blog,  Jennifer Prince, Twitter's entertainment industry director, noted that that 65 percent of Twitter users polled follow a film-related account, so she suggested that studios create a movie account at least six months ahead of the premiere. 

Marc Weinstock, head of domestic theatrical marketing at 20th Century Fox, agreed. 

"Twitter was a key ingredient to the success of X-Men: Days of Future Past," he said. "We had an amazing film and created some highly shareable content. As the live platform, Twitter was the perfect place for us to spread the word."

Prince, Twitter's Los Angeles-based head of entertainment and media sales, also suggested using exclusive content to entice viewers. According to the survey, the most popular movie-related content on the platform is previews and trailers, followed by tweets from the movie's cast and behind-the-scenes videos and photos.

In the blog post, she pointed specifically to the Twitter campaign for Maleficent and the following tweet as an example of how to release exclusive information.

Added Anthy Price, senior vp media and integrations at Disney. "Twitter was a great place for us to connect with an audience of highly engaged moviegoers in an immediate, creative way and build buzz around the release of the film."