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Film tipples

Popcorn, spirits and Les Mis: an Oscar-winning combination

By RJ Whitehead , 26-Feb-2013

With the film awards season now in full flow, an Australian market research company has identified that cinemagoers are more likely to have a tipple than those who stay in and watch the television.

Roy Morgan Research released its survey on the eve of this year’s Oscars, having looked at the drinking habits of Australians who frequented the cinema. It also looked at the preferences of the nine Best Picture nominees.

Each year, 11m Australians—62% of the adult population—go to the big screen, and they are 20% more likely to have had a few drinks than those who don’t. This works out at 73% compared to 61% of couch potatoes.

Understanding the market

According to George Pesutto of Roy Morgan Research, the study has been designed to help drinks marketeers to assess their public. 

The range of movie types enjoyed by Australians who like a drink offers alcohol advertisers extensive opportunities to target both mass and niche markets for their products.  It seems there is a beverage ideally suited to each and every genre,” he said.

The research also found that romance movies—represented by Les Miserables and Amour—drew an audience that favours spirits over beer, and is the only group to do so. They are also more than twice as likely as the general population to drink cider, and over one-third as likely to drink white wine.

Meanwhile, dramas like Lincoln and Beasts of the Southern Wild draw the quaffers who are most likely to indulge in red, white and sparkling wine. At the same time, fans of this genre are least favourable towards beer, and especially dislike full-strength stubbies.

Beer is best for action

Those gunning for action films like Zero Dark Thirty and Argo, however, are the most likely to drink beer while shunning ready-to-drink beverages. What’s more, their choice of beer is for premium and imported brews—to the tune of 50% more than the average Australian.

Comedy watchers, represented by Silver Linings Playbook at the Oscars, are 69% more likely to drink cider than the average filmgoer, and 40% more likely to reach for an RTD beverage. However, this group is the closest to the national average to opt for full-strength beer, but 18% below for low-alcohol beer.

Conversely, fans of action films like Django Unchained and Life of Pi are the least likely of all the genres to drink, but they are still above the national average. Indeed, half of them had consumed wine before heading for the movies.

Going to the movies continues to be a favourite evening out and social occasion for a large number of Australians. The cinema offers a great environment for product marketers to reach a truly engaged and receptive adult audience,” added Pesutto.

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