Consumer Insights: TV Land’s ‘Coming Soon to a Theater Near You’

by Rich Cornish, Ad Sales Research, CMT/TV Land

Call it “reel love,” if you will.  TV Land’s “Coming Soon to a Theater Near You” explores the strong connection 40-54-year-olds have to the movies, revealing a rise in movie-going behaviors for this group. The research takes a look at their distinctive set of movie-going attitudes and preferences, and how impactful movie advertising is on their awareness of new movies.

The Findings

  • While young adults represent a significant portion of the movie-going audience, more adults 40-54 are going to the movies than 10 years ago.
  • Movie-going is considered “an occasion” and is a large part of this group’s total out-of-home entertainment.
  • Adult movie-goers are especially open to movie advertising on television.

Movie-going Behaviors

For this group, there’s no place like out-of-home, with movies representing a significantly larger percentage of total out-of-home entertainment. Adults 40-54 are seeing more movies than before, with the number of movies seen per year increasing 6% between 2010-2011.

Opening Weekend

  • Younger moviegoers are more likely to see movies opening weekend or within a week after it opens, yet 68% of adults 40-54 are open to seeing a movie on opening weekend.
  • The leading deciding factor for seeing a movie on opening weekend is the cast of a movie (67%), followed by commercials and trailers on TV (58%).

Date Night: 40-something moviegoers are most likely to see movies with their spouse/partners, while younger moviegoers are more likely to go with their friends.

  • Among 40-54s, 75% go see movies with their spouse/partner/significant other, 49% go with child(ren),  and 32% go with friends.
  • The vast majority of 18-24s go see movies with their friends (72%), followed by significant others (54%).

Show Me the Money: Moviegoers 40-54 are more than twice as likely as those 18-24 to spend more than $20 at the movies: 64% versus 28%, respectively.

Movie-going Attitudes

Forty-54-year-old moviegoers have their own set of attitudes and values around the movie-going experience, distinctive from their younger counterparts.

That’s Entertainment! Moviegoers 40-54 look forward to seeing a movie in a theater more than nearly every other out-of-home entertainment option.

The Great Escape: The majority of adults 40-54 say going to the movies is an escape from everyday life (54%) and about half say it’s as an opportunity to spend time with family.

  • 49% say it’s a good way to spend time with my partner/significant other.
  • 45% say it’s a good way to spend time with my family.

Reel Love: 40-54 moviegoers have a strong connection to the movies, with a majority agreeing that, “I’ve always gone to the movies, and I probably always will.”

Awareness & Advertising

TV Commercials are the most common way that moviegoers 40-54 learn about new movies, while younger viewers use word-of-mouth and in-theater trailers just as often.

  • 71% of 40-54 viewers learn about movies from commercials and 60% learn from friends and family/word-of-mouth.

This group expressed an openness and interest in seeing more movie commercials on TV.

  • 78% of TV Land viewers are more interested in seeing more movie commercials on TV Land.

Most 40-54-year-old moviegoers (55%) recognize that the majority of movie ads are not targeted at them, but at younger people. A full 83% of 18-24-year-old moviegoers agree that most of the movie ads they see look like they are for people their age.


Despite the rise in 40-54s going to the movies, movie advertising tends to target a younger audience. Marketers can tap into this group’s openness and interest in movie advertising, and maximize opportunities to tailor their messaging to this demographic.

The Methodology:

This study was based on one-on-one interviews with 42 adults aged 40-54 as well as a national survey of 1,500 adults aged 18-54.

Rich Cornish is vice president of Ad Sales Research for CMT and TV Land.

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