The first Meerkat Movies Annual Cinema Index has been released today, revealing the latest cinema-going trends amongst the UK public. Amongst other findings, a survey* of 3,000 people found that almost half (43%) prefer to watch new films at the cinema, almost twice as many as those who prefer to see the latest releases at home (26%).
70% of film fans say that the cinema is the only format that gives blockbusters the ‘full experience they deserve’. For over half of those surveyed (58%), this is due to the impressive visual quality and sound effects, key factors that for them set the big screen apart from at-home viewing.
2018 delivered a larger selection of diverse talent in both on and off-screen roles, something clearly noticed by the cinema audience. Over a third of movie-goers (37%) agreed that they had seen an increase in female representation on their screens in 2018, whilst 35% saw more characters from ethnic minority backgrounds and 31% acknowledged a greater presence of LGBT characters.
Musical films were a firm favourite with Meerkat Movies customers in 2018, with Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! the number one film, swiftly followed by Bohemian Rhapsody at number two. A Star is Born also made it into the top ten, taking ninth place (full top ten in notes to editors).
Celebrating the life of Queen’s legendary frontman Freddie Mercury, Bohemian Rhapsody is a prime example of the growing demand for stories that bring together music and biography. Looking ahead, ground-breaking pop icon David Bowie tops a list of those the public would like to see brought to life on screen (33%). When movie fans were asked what films they would most like to see a sequel to, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Deadpool 2 and Avengers: Infinity War came in as the top three.
When it comes to iconic characters, 75% of consumers polled say they feel James Bond should remain as a male lead, ruling out a similar move as seen by Jodie Whittaker in Doctor Who. With cinema often viewed as a form of escapism, the majority (57%) would have little interest in watching a film on Brexit. But as the theory quickly looms into reality, Brits are still upbeat that Helen Mirren would top our shortlist as the best actress to play determined Theresa May.
When it comes to cinema snacks, popcorn is a non-negotiable for 41% of cinema-goers. And on the long-debated topic of sweet vs. salty, the survey reveals 45% of the nation embrace their sweet tooth over a salty (20%) and sweet and salty mix (24%). Over a third (36%) of movie fans say that they have upgraded to VIP seating to take their comfort to the next level before settling into the movie. One in ten say they do so ‘often’.
When considering improvements in technology, cinema-goers show a great appetite for exploring new developments with 68% keen to experience 4D and VR in the future.
Showing that film continues to be one of the most influential and dynamic media of our time, nearly a third of respondents (32%) say that a film has impacted their views on ethical issues such as use of plastics and veganism. Indeed, 32% say that they are using less single use plastic as a result of watching a film and 25% reveal they now eat less meat.
The top ten most-watched films by Meerkat Movie members in 2018
(based on Meerkat Movies redemptions)
1. Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!
2. Bohemian Rhapsody
3. Incredibles 2
4. The Greatest Showman
5. Avengers: Infinity War
6. Black Panther
7. Deadpool 2
8. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
9. A Star is Born
10. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Top five sequels that the public can’t wait to see:
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
- Deadpool 2
- Avengers: Infinity War
- Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
- Black Panther
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