Can Big-Spending Moviegoers Help A Struggling Economy?

There are sharp increases in consumer spending for some moviegoing consumers, according to a new study.

Does that mean they will be fueling more inflation — or perhaps just enough to save the economy from going through a recession?

Maybe it's just about cleaning up the yard or buying a new Nespresso, Ninja Pressure Cooker, and up-spending at McDonald's. Buying luxury Teslas? That may come at another time.

One study from big in-theater advertising network National CineMedia, using Affinity Solutions' consumer purchase data, focused on moviegoers attending two big blockbusters this year -- “Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” and “Top Gun: Maverick.”

They were more inclined to be highly active consumers eight hours after attending those films.

The bottom line is that NCM moviegoers -- those who presumably also watch the NCM's 20-minute or so pre-show “Noovie” in movie theaters -- had “two times elevated spending" versus non-moviegoers.



We might guess, if this is true, that non-NCM moviegoers attending theaters would also be likely to spend more.

NCM results came through Affinity Solutions' consumer purchase data --  based on over 100 million cardmembers.

According to the report, high spending by moviegoers is spread across categories such as retail, dining, travel -- and yes, automotive.

The research here focuses on specific demographics -- the more heavily Gen Z and Young Millennial audience of “Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” and the Gen X and Boomer audience of “Top Gun: Maverick.”

What did these specific audience groups buy? “Dr. Strange” viewers (Gen Z and Millennials) spent more on flowers, jewelry, and online gaming. “Top Gun: Maverick” viewers -- Gen X and Boomers -- spent more on appliances and landscaping.

Landscaping? And maybe a new refrigerator -- or a tidy toaster oven? We will take what we can get.

Looking at specific brands, the research says that for those younger crowds (for “Dr. Strange”)  that can be Delta Airlines, T-Mobile, and McDonald's. For older movie lovers (for “Top Gun: Maverick”)  Amazon, United Airlines and Walt Disney scored the highest for sales lift.

In-theater movie sellers should lean on digital comparisons for results. And why not? If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

Manu Singh, senior vice president of insights, analytics & sales data strategy for NCM, says:  “Cinema has become the metaphorical last click – we are it.”

Streaming video platform executives might disagree. Wait for the click-back to come.

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