NEW YORK - BET Networks today unveiled a new report that challenges the Hollywood mindset that African Americans only support black movies and outlines the $6.3 Billion buying power of this demographic. According to REEL FACTS: A Movie Goer Consumption Study on average, 81% of the movies seen by African Americans do not prominently feature an African American cast, storyline or lead black star. The study provides an in-depth understanding of African American movie goers and their consumption patterns versus general market movie goers. The report also states that while traditionally, African Americans do support films in which their own images/likenesses are featured, this group is also just as engaged with mass appeal general market films since the leading criteria for movie selection is based on genre.
"The findings in REEL Facts prove what we've known all along, which is contrary to what many studios and marketers think, African Americans are a valuable patron of different genres of film and see the platform of television as an important resource in making a decision in this category," said Louis Carr, President of Advertising at BET Networks. "While African Americans seek content that reflects their lives, the movies consumed are not limited to one type of storyline."
REEL Facts: A Movie Goer Consumption Study also revealed the top five key characteristics of an African American movie goer:
"REEL Facts, along with our other consumer insights, proves that the black consumer is not monolithic and that it's all about engaging content, cultural awareness and satisfaction as high-end consumers," said Matthew Barnhill, SVP of Market Research at BET Networks. "The African American community has diverse tastes, an appetite for quality movies and entertainment that can range from blockbuster mainstream action films to African American romantic comedies."
BET's REEL Facts confirmed this by asking respondents to name verbatim the last three films seen in the past year. Only three (or 16%) of the top films in 2010-2011 year to date mentioned by black movie goers featured a predominantly African American cast, storyline or lead black star:
The research also shows that African Americans choose movies based on genre first and then look at other criteria. According to the report, the genres that African Americans spent the most on at the movie theater are: Comedy ($3.6 Billion), Action Adventure ($2.8 Billion), Romance ($1.6 Billion), Sci-Fi/Fantasy Horror ($1.2 Billion), Animation ($1.2 Billion), Drama ($1.1 Billion), Mystery/Suspense ($1.1 Billion) and Children/Teen/Family Fare ($835 Million).
REEL Facts also found that black movie goers are young, highly educated, affluent and employed. The study stated that movies are a popular entertainment past time among African Americans and defined the typical African American movie consumer to be: