So far in 2022, nine of the top 10 grossing movies are either sequels or part of a franchise. And, as excitement grew for new releases, so did the number of people catching up on previous films in the series on streaming services.
New research from Roku – America’s No. 1 TV streaming platform by streaming hours – shows that a franchise’s full catalog sees the benefits of a theatrical release even when it’s not. not achieve a box office blast, presenting a big marketing opportunity for both studios and streaming services.
Looking at the impact of new releases, Roku’s Audience Insights team found that searches for earlier versions of a franchise more than doubled when new titles were released – a trend that distributors could exploit to build buzz. theatrical in the weeks leading up to a film’s debut.
It’s a trend that also opens up opportunities for marketers, notes Erica Atkins, marketing manager for theatrical ads at Roku.
“Older titles in a franchise become relevant again when a new installment arrives, so it’s a mistake not to promote them alongside the new title,” Atkins says.
Since the start of a title’s broadcast window isn’t always clear, viewers often need help finding content. To ensure a smooth transition from theater to home streaming, ramping up post-release marketing can help studios, as well as streaming services, leverage box office excitement to maximize the potential of hearing.
Similarly, a successful box office run can increase viewer interest in a film when it lands on streaming platforms – for example, “The Batman” saw a 554% increase in Roku searches when it landed on streaming platforms. hit theaters on March 4 (2022), and a 270% boost when it became available to stream on April 18.
While not all searches translate to views, streaming can give movies a second life. ‘Downton Abbey: A New Era’ – which underperformed at the box office – saw a 71% boost in searches when it landed on the platform. “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” – which did very well at the box office – saw a 244% increase in Roku searches when the title hit theaters; once it became available via streaming, search interest skyrocketed 1,231%.
What the numbers show
Research from Roku reveals how and when demand for older titles in a franchise increases as promotion intensifies for newer installments. Teasers, trailers, and eventually the release of new episodes in theaters all pique the interest of audiences.
When the first trailer for “The Minions: The Rise of Gru” was released in 2020, “Despicable Me” saw a 32% increase in searches, “Despicable Me 2” saw a 34% increase, “Despicable Me 3” saw a 27% increase, and “Despicable Me: Minion Madness” saw a 68% increase.
With “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Jurassic World: Dominion” hitting the box office in June, both top “Top Gun” (1986) and its 2022 sequel, along with previous films in the “Jurassic Park” franchise, were among the top 20 most searched titles on Roku.
For marketers, that means it’s never too early to promote a franchise – fans are eager to revisit stories and characters weeks – if not months – before a theatrical release.
Here’s how the numbers have been impacted by other recent releases:
- “The Batman” – Research “Batman”, “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight” jumped 38%, 43% and 46% respectively.
- “Downton Abbey: A New Era” – Searches for “Downton Abbey” jumped 113%.
- “F9” – Being part of a franchise with as many entries as “Fast and Furious” triggered an even more impressive overall increase. Although some previous films in the saga have been more popular than others, all have seen an increase in search interest:
- “Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift”: 104%
- “2 Fast 2 Furious”: 80%
- “The Fast and the Furious”: 67%
- “The fate of the furious”: 49%
- “Fast Five”: 41%
- “Furious 7”: 41%
- “Fast & Furious 6”: 39%
- “Fast & Furious”: 35%
Leverage streaming and theatrical synergy
It’s clear that streaming and cinema can work together to help programmers engage audiences. While social media, linear TV ads, and online (or theatrical) trailers are still the biggest drivers of awareness, a new Roku survey found that 38% of users typically discover a new release promotion on a TV streaming device; 60% said their Roku streaming device made it easier for them to discover new movies. For movies released theatrically or streaming, marketers can maximize audience by messaging the same streamers throughout the content lifecycle – from theater to rental/purchase to direct streaming.
Streaming can also satisfy the continuous thirst for new releases. Nearly half of Roku users (45%) want to see a new movie within the first month, with 19% saying they want to see it as soon as possible.; their reasons include wanting to avoid spoilers and being able to participate in conversations about it. More than half of respondents said they were comfortable going to the cinema again; only 22% said they were not comfortable as the pandemic continues to cast a shadow.
The genres they want to see in theaters are limited, however. Roku’s survey found that audiences prefer seeing action/adventure and sci-fi/fantasy movies over other genres in theaters, while international and crime/horror movies are more likely to be broadcast at home.
As consumer attitudes continue to evolve, cinema and streaming can co-exist. “If a film performs well at the box office, it generates buzz and brings a halo effect to streaming services. People who missed it are more likely to catch it on stream. On the other hand, for movies that aren’t doing well — or even genres that aren’t theatrical draws at this point — consumers know it’s going to end up in streaming eventually, so they’re willing to wait.” “, says Roku’s Senior Director of Global Advertising Sales, Media and Entertainment, Jon Goodstadt. “Marketers can leverage this momentum to grow a franchise’s audience.”
June’s Top 10 Roku Searches
June’s top research highlights the relationship between catalog movies and new releases. As ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ skyrocketed at the box office, 1986’s ‘Top Gun’ topped Roku users’ searches (2022 version ranked eighth). Meanwhile, the release of “Jurassic World: Dominion” elevated three previous franchise installments to the top 10.
- “Top Gun”
- “Sonic the Hedgehog 2”
- “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”
- “Jurassic World”
- “Yellow Stone”
- “Jurassic Park”
- Top Gun: Maverick
- “The Lost City”
- “Spider-Man: No Coming Home”