MPAA Releases Ticket Stats And Contrary to What Hollywood Wants Us To Believe, Women Do Go To The Movies

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by Melissa Silverstein
March 25, 2013 2:00 PM
16 Comments
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It's the time of the year when the MPAA (the lobbying group from Hollywood) releases their annual stats.  Since Hollywood films are so skewed towards the young boys I always think the stats are going to come out and give me an understanding as to why women consistently are dismissed as an audience.  But the numbers just prove what we all know, that women do go to the movies  

Here are the stats:

  • 68% of people -- 225 million -- in the US went to at least one movie in 2012.  
  • The typical moviegoers goes 6 times per year.
  • 57% of all tickets are bought by frequent moviegoers which are people who go to the movies at least once a month.  
  • 13% of the population are frequent moviegoers.  
  • Growth was seen in 12-24 year old Hispanics and in people between 40 and 49.
  • Young people - those under 25 go to the movies more often.  But it's not like people over 25 don't go to the movies.  They do and the numbers of 25 to 39 year olds is actually up this year.

Now for gender.  Here's the deal.  WOMEN GO TO THE MOVIES.  THEY ACTUALLY GO MORE THAN MEN.  From the report:

The gender composition of moviegoers (people who went to a movie at the cinema at least once in the year) in 2012 skewed slightly more towards women than the overall population (and up 1 percentage point versus 2011), while tickets sold continued to be split evenly among both genders. 

And

Females have comprised a larger share of moviegoers (people who went to a movie at the cinema at least once in the year) than males during 2009-2012. The trend is relatively consistent, but in 2012 there was an increase of 1 percentage point in the share of females that attended the cinema (52%) relative to 2011. 

AGAIN, more women go to the movies and tickets purchased are evenly divided among men and women.  The thing to understand about these numbers is that they are just tickets purchased.  We have no idea what they were purchased for.

Stats to blow your mind:

  • 81% of all movies are seen at venues with more than 8 screens.
  • Nearly half of all moviegoers saw a 3-D movie.


And lastly, the thing to really understand about Hollywood is that the US (meaning North America) is becoming less and less important in the grand scheme of things.  69% of all box office dollars are earned overseas.  Worldwide box office makes up $34.7 billion and the US and Canada makes up just $10.6 billion.  China, Russia and Brazil are growing the most.  

Full report

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More: Box Office, Statistics

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16 Comments

  • Kristi | February 21, 2014 2:44 PMReply

    Oh, dear! Sorry for the multiple posts, it looked like my submit button wasn't working until I refreshed the page and there they all were, and there's no delete option.

  • Kristi | February 21, 2014 2:42 PMReply

    Women can't win for losing either way. If we go to the movies that are already out even more than men do, then obviously we like movies as they are, so why change a winning formula. If we were to avoid the movies because we're tired of watching men do stuff, then it'll be "Well, women don't like movies anyway, we're just doing what our mostly audience wants". We cannot vote with our wallets because much as people want you to believe, this is not about money. The only thing you can do to change it is to make movies yourself, and if enough non-sexist people get into the industry, only then will it change.

  • Kristi | February 21, 2014 2:42 PMReply

    Women can't win for losing either way. If we go to the movies that are already out even more than men do, then obviously we like movies as they are, so why change a winning formula. If we were to avoid the movies because we're tired of watching men do stuff, then it'll be "Well, women don't like movies anyway, we're just doing what our mostly audience wants". We cannot vote with our wallets because much as people want you to believe, this is not about money. The only thing you can do to change it is to make movies yourself, and if enough non-sexist people get into the industry, only then will it change.

  • Kristi | February 21, 2014 2:42 PMReply

    Women can't win for losing either way. If we go to the movies that are already out even more than men do, then obviously we like movies as they are, so why change a winning formula. If we were to avoid the movies because we're tired of watching men do stuff, then it'll be "Well, women don't like movies anyway, we're just doing what our mostly audience wants". We cannot vote with our wallets because much as people want you to believe, this is not about money. The only thing you can do to change it is to make movies yourself, and if enough non-sexist people get into the industry, only then will it change.

  • Kristi | February 21, 2014 2:42 PMReply

    Women can't win for losing either way. If we go to the movies that are already out even more than men do, then obviously we like movies as they are, so why change a winning formula. If we were to avoid the movies because we're tired of watching men do stuff, then it'll be "Well, women don't like movies anyway, we're just doing what our mostly audience wants". We cannot vote with our wallets because much as people want you to believe, this is not about money. The only thing you can do to change it is to make movies yourself, and if enough non-sexist people get into the industry, only then will it change.

  • Kristi | February 21, 2014 2:41 PMReply

    Women can't win for losing either way. If we go to the movies that are already out even more than men do, then obviously we like movies as they are, so why change a winning formula. If we were to avoid the movies because we're tired of watching men do stuff, then it'll be "Well, women don't like movies anyway, we're just doing what our mostly audience wants". We cannot vote with our wallets because much as people want you to believe, this is not about money. The only thing you can do to change it is to make movies yourself, and if enough non-sexist people get into the industry, only then will it change.

  • Kristi | February 21, 2014 2:41 PMReply

    Women can't win for losing either way. If we go to the movies that are already out even more than men do, then obviously we like movies as they are, so why change a winning formula. If we were to avoid the movies because we're tired of watching men do stuff, then it'll be "Well, women don't like movies anyway, we're just doing what our mostly audience wants". We cannot vote with our wallets because much as people want you to believe, this is not about money. The only thing you can do to change it is to make movies yourself, and if enough non-sexist people get into the industry, only then will it change.

  • Star | March 25, 2013 10:46 PMReply

    What these stats show us is that Hollywood can skew its product toward young boys and women will still show up and buy tickets. So, basically, there's no incentive for Hollywood to cater to women.

  • Moionfire | April 4, 2013 3:38 AM

    Your post is correct. Until women avoid male-centric movies the studios will continue avoiding making women centric ones. The same is true with racial minorities. Minorities continue to see all/mostly white cast films , so there is no incentive to have minority leads. Male-centric films kill two birds(or audiences) while only women go to women centric movies.

  • cab | March 25, 2013 10:18 PMReply

    Is there a reason why more women go to movies than men?

  • moionfire | April 4, 2013 3:41 AM

    Well there are more women in the country. Plus I think women spend more money in general, so this probably translates to movie-going too.

  • Melissa Silverstein | March 26, 2013 7:27 AM

    One of the things I find so frustrating about these stats is that it does not show what movies people are buying tickets for. I'm sure that is very difficult to do. My suspicion is that women are buying tickets for the whole family because they are planning the activities. Even if they broke it down by rating it still wouldn't help because you would have women buying tickets for the family for PG or G movies and young women purchasing tickets for Hunger Games. So it would probably be a wash.

    There is really no way other than to say our money is just as green and we should count just as much.

  • Tony Wu | March 25, 2013 9:42 PMReply

    I'd always thought it's that men will punish a movie more for feminine elements than women will punish a movie for masculine elements. Men face a lot of stigma from liking anything feminine, whereas women face less stigma from liking masculine things. Hence, masculine films have a greater chance of being perceived as gender-neutral. But that's no excuse because we've seen romantic blockbusters such as Titanic and Twilight be spectacularly successful.

  • D.L. Miller | March 25, 2013 9:01 PMReply

    From what I've read, it's not that women don't go to movies. It's that we don't buy the acton figures, video games, dvds, etc...that rake in a ton of money for studios. Anytime they can do tie-ins (Sex and the City soundtrack, for example) they're happy. But I'm happy to see the US being less important. Life of Pi was intended for a global audience and wouldn't have gotten made otherwise.

  • Kathy | March 25, 2013 3:46 PMReply

    OK, so the stats showed that women go to the movies. But are women more likely to to go movies with a male lead, or are they more likely to go to movies with a female lead? Are women more likely to go to movies directed by women? We need to show the moguls that women want to see women in the lead role and in the director's chair. And yes, we want to go to pro-feminist films, not "chick" flicks.

  • Star | March 25, 2013 10:42 PM

    Do you speak for all women?

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