Making the most of the 16-34 audience in Q1

    Author Tom Linay

One of the biggest stories in cinema over the last couple of years has been the re-emergence of horror as a major critical and commercial force. Not only has It: Chapter One and Two taken the genre into a whole new box office realm, films like Get Out have even made a splash at the Oscars, with the film nominated for Best Picture and Director, Daniel Kaluuya nominated for Best Actor and Jordan Peele winning for Best Screenplay. 2020 is when we really see the impact of this, with a whole raft of smart, inventive films that have attracted some of the biggest actors on the planet.

In January, John Cho and Andrea Riseborough encounter a vengeful ghost in The Grudge, while Mackenzie Davis stars in an adaptation of a spooky Henry James novella in The Turning. February sees Ant-Man star, Michael Pena in an update of the Fantasy Island story, and Katie Holmes comes into the possession of a mysterious doll in Brahms: The Boy 2. Most excitingly, Elisabeth Moss is the woman being gaslighted by The Invisible Man in a whip-smart updating of the story. In March, one of the world’s biggest stars, Emily Blunt follows up her turn as Mary Poppins in the hotly anticipated sequel to A Quiet Place, and Cillian Murphy has joined the cast.

The audience for these films is highly sought after too. More than any other genre, horror profiles extremely strongly for 16-34s, an audience that is notoriously hard to engage via other media, and with The Invisible Man and A Quiet Place 2 both delivering an index of 269 for 16-34 adults, any smart planner can get a great deal in February and March. Between them, Fantasy Island (14 Feb), Brahms: The Boy 2 (21 Feb), The Invisible Man (28 Feb) and A Quiet Place 2 (20 March) are forecast to deliver 2.4m DCM admissions, 1.5m of which is expected to be 16-34 adults. This equates to just shy of 12 16-34 TVRs. If you had bought 2.4m admissions in Captain Marvel in March 2019, you’d have reached 400k fewer 16-34s (the equivalent of 3 TVRs) and the 30” screentime cost would have been £48k more expensive thanks to its blockbuster CPT. Forget uneventful Black Friday sales, this is a real steal that can help drive the efficiency of 16-34 AV plans in Q1. 

The rest of the year is shaping up brilliantly for the genre too. Scott Cooper, a man better known for helping Jeff Bridges win an Oscar for Crazy Heart, and collaborating with Christian Bale (Out Of The Furnace, Hostiles) teams up with Guilllermo Del Toro for Antlers in April, while Chris Rock is writing and starring in a new Saw film in May, that has attracted the star power of Samuel L. Jackson – in terms of box office, the highest grossing actor of all-time. All-round genius Jordan Peele updates the Candyman myth in June, Edgar Wright directs an original story in Last Night In Soho in September, and Jamie Lee Curtis returns to take on Michael Myers in Halloween Kills in October.

There are many intriguing narratives in cinema in 2020, and one of the most exciting is the strength of horror as a genre. Don’t sleep on it.

Speak to your DCM rep to capture this key audience, and download the deck here.