×

Women Powered Summer Box Office Successes, New Data Shows

Women and millennial men were two key audience segments responsible for the summer’s most successful films, according to a new study released by marketing data analytics firm Movio.

Although the summer season overall was one of the worst in recent history — a 14.6% drop in domestic grosses from last summer — the study focused on the summer films that performed the best, rather than those that flopped. There were, after all, several major successes, including “Wonder Woman,” Christopher Nolan’s smash hit “Dunkirk,” and comedy breakout “Girls Trip.”

The Movio research examined those who go to the movies fewer than four times a year (deemed “infrequent moviegoers”) who typically make up about 14% of a movie’s audience. Many of the summer’s most successful films, it found, pulled in a larger percentage. For example, the audience for “Girls Trip” — which grossed $115 million domestic off a relatively low budget — was 25% infrequent moviegoers.

More specifically, the study found that many of the films that performed well appealed to infrequent female moviegoers. Women typically make up 15% of all infrequent moviegoers, but for “Wonder Woman,” “Girls Trip,” and “Dunkirk,” they represented about a quarter of the group.

“I think in a lot of ways women were the unsung heroes of the box office, at least for the successful films this year,” said Movio Cinema’s global president Matthew Liebmann. “I think that’s the hidden potential of the box office.”

The study also examined how the male millennial demographic powered several of the summer’s highest-grossing titles. The group typically makes up 14% of the average movie audience, according to Movio, but for “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” they represented 25% of the total audience.

While the films highlighted by the study were lucrative, flops including “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” and “Rough Night” raise questions about why some films succeed while others misfire. Liebmann pointed out that “Wonder Woman,” “Girls Trip,” and “Dunkirk” were all successful among infrequent female moviegoers, despite representing three very different genres of film.

“I think each film probably has its own anecdote for why [it was successful], as opposed to an overarching reason,” Liebmann said, “which is probably why you can’t manufacture the next generation solely by formula.”

See graphics from the Movio study below:

Movio StudyMovio StudyMovio Study

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Angel Has Fallen

    Box Office: 'Angel Has Fallen' Flies to $1.5 Million on Thursday Night

    Action movie “Angel Has Fallen” has soared to $1.5 million at 2,600 North American locations in Thursday night previews. Christian drama “Overcomer” took in $775,000 during Thursday night previews at 1,563 locations. “Angel Has Fallen” has been tracking for a debut in the $12 million to $16 million range and will expand to 3,286 sites on [...]

  • Our Mothers Review

    Oscars: Belgium Sends Cannes Prizewinner 'Our Mothers' to International Feature Film Race

    Belgian-Guatemalan director Cesar Diaz’s feature debut, “Our Mothers,” will represent Belgium in the International Feature Film category at the Oscars. Represented in international markets by Pyramide, “Our Mothers” world premiered at Cannes’ Critics Week and won the Golden Camera for best first film. “Our Mothers” is set in today’s Guatemala, a country riveted by the [...]

  • La vaca "The Cow"

    Alfredo Castro, Mia Maestro, Leonor Varela Cast in Francisca Alegria’s Debut (EXCLUSIVE)

    SANTIAGO, Chile  —  The much anticipated feature debut of Chilean Francisca Alegria, renowned for her magical short “And the Whole Sky Fit in the Dead Cow’s Eye,” has firmed up its cast and shooting dates. Argentine thesp Mia Maestro (“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn”), Chile’s Leonor Varela (“Dallas,” “Blade 2”), Alfredo Castro (“From Afar,” “Museum”) [...]

  • 210819 Distribusjonsseminar DNF

    Haugesund: Nordic Distribution Panel Analyzes Recent Success Story 'Queen of Hearts'

    HAUGESUND, Norway  —  On Wednesday morning, shortly before this year’s New Nordic Films Works in Progress screening was due to begin, a handful of industry veterans sat for a panel that picked up right where last year’s WIP program left off. Presented in collaboration with Europa Distribution, the panel – called “The Value Chain: A [...]

  • L-R Dena Kaplan, Ronny Chieng, Josh

    Rafe Spall Leads Cast of Oscar Nominated Josh Lawson's 'Long Story Short'

    Rafe Spall, whose credits include “The Big Short” and “Shaun of the Dead,” leads the cast of romantic comedy “Long Story Short.” Studiocanal will handle worldwide sales on the film, which starts to shoot on Monday in Sydney, Australia. The movie is written and directed by Josh Lawson, who was Oscar nominated last year for [...]

  • Metro 2033

    Cult Sci-Fi Novel 'Metro 2033' to Be Adapted as Movie (EXCLUSIVE)

    Russia’s TNT-Premier Studios Company, TV-3 Channel and Central Partnership Film Company – all part of Gazprom Media – have come together to produce a movie based on Dmitry Glukhovsky’s sci-fi novel “Metro 2033,” which has also been adapted as a video game. Filming is due to start next year. The Russian premiere of the movie [...]

  • Beforeigners

    'Beforeigners'' Anne Bjornstad on HBO's First Norwegian Original Series

    HAUGESUND, Norway  —  HBO Europe’s first Norwegian original series, which debuted Aug. 21 exclusively across HBO’s territories, has garnered rave reviews in the Norwegian press. It is also a perfect fit for HBO’s brand and goal to create bold, smart and author-driven shows. Produced by Endemol Shine’s Norwegian prodco Rubicon TV, “Beforeigners” is helmed by [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content