The younger target group celebrates cinema
Never before have social media trends had a stronger impact on the behavior with regards to cinema attendance than in the record-breaking summer of 2023. And this is just the beginning.
Hamburg, October 9, 2023 – The “Barbenheimer” trend, born on social media, has turned the summer blockbusters “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” into record-breaking blockbusters. Particularly, young people celebrated the movies with a pink dress code and double screenings on the same day.
“Barbenheimer” symbolizes a new phenomenon where social media trends around movies emerge, even before they hit theaters, but already become virtual events:
- Tickets for Taylor Swift’s concert film “The Eras Tour” (starting October 13) sold out within minutes, not least because they were offered at a price of 19.89 euros, Swift’s birth year, making them significantly cheaper than tickets for the concert tour coming to Europe in 2024.
- The announcement by superstar Beyoncé to bring her current tour “Renaissance” to American cinemas as a concert film on December 1 has led to a true social media hype in Germany. Young fans are vehemently demanding the film be shown outside the USA.
- The public flirtation between teen heartthrob Timothée Chalamet and reality star Kylie Jenner is currently fueling the imagination of young social media communities, where Chalamet is often depicted with a “Wonka” hat – a prop from the film in which he is set to appear in theaters from December 14.
Especially young people like, share, or satirize such social media trends and now want to be part of not only the virtual but also the real event at the cinema. Accordingly, the attendance of the younger target group is higher and more frequent: According to the current FFA study, 60% of all 15 to 19-year-olds, 68% of all 6 to 9-year-olds, and even 79% of all 10 to 14-year-olds visited a cinema in the first half of 2023 – an average of four times. This made the reach within this age group higher than ever before, making the summer of 2023 one of the most successful across target groups.
Weischer.Cinema CEO Stefan Kuhlow is confident that this is only the beginning of a long-term trend: “Social media needs social places. The virtual anticipation of real experiences in real places with real people is not only observable in cinemas but also at concerts, festivals, or sporting events,” he adds: “While all traditional media channels struggle with declining reach in the young target groups and decreasing advertising effectiveness, cinema remains a place where even young audiences can be reached distraction-free. Many advertisers have recognized this and strategically use the cinema as a digital moving image channel in combination with online video on social media platforms.”
A look at the schedule shows that the coming months also hold numerous material for social media trends: On October 19, Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” with Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro premieres. On November 16, “The Hunger Games – The Ballard of Singbird & Snakes,” the prequel to the successful Hunger Games trilogy, hits the screen. To mark its 100th anniversary, Disney will be bringing “Wish” to cinemas on November 30, exploring the origin of the legendary Disney wishing star, before the important question is answered in “Aquaman: Lost Kingdom” on December 20: with or without Batman?
Looking ahead to 2024, there are already hints of numerous social media phenomena: On July 4, the sequel to the legendary Disney classic “The Lion King,” called “Mufasa,” will be coming to theaters. A week later, the fourth installment of the successful Minions series “Despicable Me” will be released, and the sequel to “Joker” with Joaquin Phoenix and Lady Gaga on October 3 is already casting its social media shadow today.