Poll: Star Power, Not Awards, Gets People to See Movies

When the Oscars air a week from Sunday, will the Academy’s picks have an effect on the films viewers choose to watch? Not likely, according to a recent Morning Consult poll. People are more likely to see a movie based on other factors, like actors and movie trailers.

Thirty-nine percent of survey respondents said actors strongly influence their decision regarding what to movies to watch. Thirty-one percent of people said the quality of a trailer has a strong influence on their decision, and the same percentage said the trailer has some influence.

Young people, in particular, put a lot of trust in trailers. Fifty percent of adults under the age of 30 said trailers strongly influence their decision to see a movie.

The Oscars, ultimately, don’t have a leading role when people are choosing a movie. Just 14 percent said a film being nominated for an Academy Award has a strong influence on their decision to see it, with 15 percent saying the same about a film winning an Oscar. Forty-three percent said an Oscar-winning film has no influence on whether they see it.

Older respondents are also less swayed by award-winning movies: 52 percent of people age 45 to 64, and half of respondents age 65 or older, said the awards have no impact on their movie choices.

Professional critics, too, have less influence than people’s movie-going peers. Fifteen percent said critics’ reviews have a strong influence on their decision to see a movie, while 24 percent said it has some influence. In contrast, 20 percent of respondents said other movie-goers’ reviews have a strong influence, and 28 percent said other movie-goers’ opinions have some influence on their viewing decisions.

Polling was conducted among a national sample of 2,000 adults on Feb. 9 and Feb. 10. Crosstabs and toplines are here and here.

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