Posted February 15, 2013 5:20 pm by with 0 comments

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Nielsen, the guys famous for cataloging what everyone is watching on TV, just posted some results from their 2012 Moviegoer Report and I have the scoop. I was excited to see these numbers because it’s a little out of the norm. We often see data related to how TV fans are using mobile and social media, but movie stats are tougher to find. So, let’s dig in.

For the purpose of this survey, Nielsen defined a “moviegoer” as a person who saw at least one movie in a theater in the past 12 months. On average, folks in this group didn’t just watch one movie, they watched 6.8 movies in the theater. Here’s where it gets cool: the average moviegoer paid to watch 23.1 movies at home. The survey doesn’t say but I’m assuming this means bought or rented a DVD or paid to watch a movie On Demand or streaming to a PC, etc. That’s a pretty big number, especially when you compare it to free movies which I take to mean airing on regular TV, on YouTube or free On Demand.

Scroll down, past this graphic and we’ll talk some more.


Look at the increase in the numbers when you get into mobile device owners. Smartphone gets us up to an average 40.5 movies a year. Tablet users bring the number up to 46.6. Wow. And it’s not just an increase in movies at home, they even saw more movies in the theater.

Nielsen says tablet owners are also more likely to see a movie more than once and buy their ticket online. They also spend 35% more than the average moviegoer on entertainment every month.

Seriously, movie studios, if you aren’t creating cool promos and apps for tablets, you’re missing out big time.

Moving on to social media:

We know that TV fans love to chat via Twitter and Facebook, but what about moviegoers?

On average, more moviegoers are using social media to discuss movies than ever before. But when you break it down by age, there’s actually a decrease in usage in the 12 to 24 age group. The biggest increase came from the 35-44’s. I couldn’t even begin to figure out why that happened.

Mobile moviegoers are way more likely to send a social media message or a text right after seeing a movie. Logical, given that they have a device that allows them to do so while they’re still in the lobby.


We know about the power of the recommendation but it’s not always true when talking movies. 3 out of 10 moviegoers told Nielsen that comments on their social networks affected their decision to see a movie. This was particularly true of those in the 35 to 44 age bracket. The impact on younger viewers was down 5% over last year.

If you add up everything I saw on TV, Netflix, DVD and in the theater. . . I’d say 3 movies on a slow month, 5 on the high side. . . which puts me somewhere between 40 and 48. Right in the bucket with all the other tablet users. Good job, Nielsen. You got it right.

How many movies did you see on average last year?