Young people still go to the cinema, but are more demanding of theaters

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Before the screening of the film “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” at the 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, in Cannes, May 15, 2024. LOIC VENANCE / AFP

On the Croisette, spotlight on young people. The relationship that adolescents and young adults have with cinema seems crucial enough for two studies to be published simultaneously on this theme during the 77e Cannes film festival. A first investigation entrusted to Kantar by the online media Raw deciphers in depth the behavior of 16-30 year olds. Why do they go to the cinema? Without bluntness, the “two strong engines” who encourage them to go there stay “the big screen, as well as the moment of sociability between friends”. For the vast majority (68%), a trailer pushed them to go to the cinema. Unlike older people, a video or content on TikTok is a strong trigger for seeing a film in theaters.

The world of cinema always makes them dream. The authors of the study nevertheless note that “the high price of tickets” constitutes the main obstacle to attendance. Even if it means paying for a place, 16-30 year olds also aspire to additional services, such as sessions with dinner or lunch, or even night sessions. A very encouraging element for exhibitors: 43% would go see a film in a theater even if it was shown at the same time on a streaming platform.

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The study, carried out between March and April 2024 among 1,833 people (including 1,063 from 16 to 30 years old and 770 from 31 to 64 years old) in France, also reveals some of their unusual habits: almost a a quarter of young people sometimes look at their phone during a session and 16% confess to hiding it from their friends, “out of shame”, the films they are going to see. No doubt out of modesty, no dishonorable name is given.

Social issues

Societal issues seem essential to them. For 36% of them, “society’s current view of certain behaviors (sexual assault, violence, racism, homophobia) justifies certain films no longer being broadcast.” They would also skip a film if one of the crew members was accused or convicted of sexual assault or rape. The interviewers’ questions being extremely specific, we also learned that 45% of 16-30 year olds think that a homosexual love story in Titanic would change the film to the point of becoming above all a film about homosexuality. In the same vein, three-quarters think that “Napoleon can only be interpreted by a white man”, but, for 45% of respondents, James Bond could be played by a black actor.

On an ecological level, 30% consider it necessary to restrict filming locations, and 50% would like to see information on its environmental footprint included on the film’s posters.

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