Just what film critics don't need: A new survey suggests that film audiences across most demographics don't rely on movie reviews to help them decide what to see. According to a report called Moviegoers 2010, organized by former New Line marketer Gordon Pattison, which was highlighted in Variety, "most films are now considered critic-proof, especially among the younger set, with 84% of moviegoers saying, 'When they make up their mind to see a movie, it doesn't matter what the critics say about it.'"
Additionally, 75% of respondents said they trust a friend's opinion more than a movie critic; 80% said they were more likely to see a movie after hearing a positive review from other moviegoers, while only 67% said a thumbs up from a professional critic had the same weight.
Perhaps that's not all bad news: 67% is still a 2/3 majority, so it's not as if critics were completely obsolescent. But I can imagine Hollywood suits and newspaper publishers looking at these new statistics and using them as evidence to further push reviewers aside.
Study was conducted by surveying 1,547 moderate-to-heavy moviegoers over eight days in July, with an additional 2,305 questioned by phone or online during July. Nielsen NRG managed the research fieldwork.