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Bohemian Rhapsody: An Evolving Audience And Champion Hit

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The smash Queen hit Bohemian Rhapsody has been making remarkable waves since it’s release three weeks ago. The movie is now the second-biggest musical biopic of all time - just behind Straight Outta Compton - and the biggest LGBTQIA movie ever - ahead of The Birdcage. The movie looks set to surpass worldwide box office of other musical hits La La Land and The Greatest Showman in the next few days. Meanwhile the Best Picture nomination whispers have started...

Therefore, we were keen to find out more about the audience behind the killer hit and explore how it evolved during the movie’s run. As we found in our white paper, Breaking the Blockbuster Code, some movies can have dramatic evolutions during their run. When our data science team looked at musical biopic Straight Outta Compton, they found the audience profile completely changed within the first two weeks of the film’s release. So, did the same happen with Bohemian Rhapsody? And how does the audience contrast with the musical hit it’s about to overtake, The Greatest Showman?

Audience highlights of Bohemian Rhapsody 

The female share of the audience grew from 44% on opening night to 53% by week three, which is inline with the evolution we’ve traditionally found with blockbuster movies. Interestingly, the female share of audience overall for Bohemian Rhapsody compared to The Greatest Showman was lower (50% vs 56%). 

Bohemian Rhapsody’s audience is notable for the high percentage of Hispanic moviegoers on opening night (27%) and opening weekend (20%). We’ve found that Hispanic moviegoers typically represent 20% of a blockbuster’s opening weekend. For Bohemian Rhapsody, the Hispanic audience share had dropped to 16% by week three. Meanwhile the Hispanic share of the audience on opening weekend for The Greatest Showman was around 15%.

Interestingly, the average age for Bohemian Rhapsody started out younger than The Greatest Showman (36 yo vs 38 yo) but ended up older by week three (44 yo vs 41 yo). 

Overall Bohemian Rhapsody attracted more frequent moviegoers than The Greatest Showman (39% vs 33%) and fewer infrequent moviegoers (24% vs 33%). 

What does this mean for marketing strategies? 

In many ways Bohemian Rhapsody evolved like a typical blockbuster movie, but with older moviegoers, particularly those in their 50s (probably fans of Queen in the 70s-80s) over-represented. This anecdotally provides substantial credence to the idea of having different strategies for different marketing groups. To take advantage of cross-generational movies like Bohemian Rhapsody, studios could have multiple campaign strategies surrounding the targeted demographic groups. When planning for a title like this studios could split their budget and essentially treat the first and second weekend as two separate campaigns. On the first weekend, the advertiser could focus on the demographics that reliably attend on opening weekend (i.e., super fans and those 25-34 yo) while concentrating on those who were not scooped up in the first weekend as well as older moviegoers (35-64 yo) who are more likely to avoid the week of release. This strategy would allow studios to reduce second-weekend drop and potentially (in the case of films with very strong word of mouth) stop the slide altogether.

Check out all our Audience Evolution Reports here to discover more moviegoing audience insights. 

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