Movie Test Screening Market Research

Movie Test Screening Market Research

What is Movie Test Screening?

A Movie Test Screening is a film preview. Studios host Test Screenings before the film’s general release to gauge audience reaction. Researchers select the preview audience from a cross-section of the population. They ask these viewers to provide feedback in some form, usually in a questionnaire. Test Screenings are always a good idea. The movie’s backers and distributors need this data to see how they can maximize returns. But, few directors take solace in the brutal feedback a group of strangers may give their baby.

The idea of a Movie Test Screening is to get some fresh eyeballs on the project. Screenings ask for input from a select group. This group does not have an emotional attachment to the project. Moreover, it’s a way for creators and financiers to see what’s working and what’s not. It can be tempting to brief your audience with some context, but it’s best to let them develop their perception. There’s another benefit to watching the Movie Test Screening with your audience. You somehow view it through their eyes when you’re with them. You absorb their energy and can now sense when something is off.

Why is Movie Test Screening Important?

Test Screenings are a great way to see what the audience thinks of your film. It helps filmmakers understand who their film’s early adopters are. In that way, they can make better decisions about its release. It is a good source of getting some idea of the audience’s response to a rough cut. The filmmaker may use feedback from a test screening to alter the movie before the release date.

Movie Test Screenings can tell you if your comedy is funny or your horror is scary. It will help you, your producer, and your studio. You’ll be able to decide how to make the film appeal to as many moviegoers as possible. Without Test Screenings, problem areas in your movie go unchecked. But choose your audience with care. Bad Test Screenings mean problem areas can go unchallenged. Or even worse, your work can get ripped apart by people who are not the best judges of cinema.

Why Studios Need Movie Test Screening

In the past, filmmakers tended to revile Test Screenings. They resented how studio execs would use them to exact changes to their visions. Directors and producers now seem to find comfort in them. Test Screenings have become an integral part of filmmaking in the last few years. Large studios do them, and so do indie producers. Testing methods have become further advanced as more players come onto the scene. Market Research often begins before the film receives the green light.

Studios altered mega-hits like E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial, following Test Screenings. Fatal Attraction and Pretty Woman also underwent many changes after their screenings. Furthermore, the practice has been around for decades – 1939’s The Wizard of Oz had a Test Screening. Comedies benefit from testing more than other genres. These screenings offer many alternate endings and jokes at different levels. Most studios use an outside Market Research firm to run the event. This firm also recruits audience members.

Key Success Factors for Movie Test Screening

Several factors can influence a movie’s success. These factors include the producer, distributor, story, and genre. The promotion frequency, leading actors, and film rating also affect it. The most popular method for testing your film is organizing a theatrical screening. You then invite people to watch it through promotions and giveaways. The drawback is that theatrical screening is the most expensive option. Are you an indie filmmaker trying to save a few thousand bucks? The next best option is organizing an online Movie Test Screening.

About Movie Test Screening Research

Movie Test Screening is a form of Qualitative Market Research. Your audience, in this case, is like a Focus Group, and your questionnaire is like a survey. As with Focus Groups, your Movie Test Screening will have a moderator. You can also view Movie Test Screening as Market Entry Research. Any tweaks made to your film will become part of your Go-to-Market Strategy.

SIS International Research provides Movie Test Screening Research. Contact us today to learn more about this and other types of Market Opportunity Research.

Contact us for your next Market Research and Strategy Consulting Project.

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