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New product survey: Why “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” movie was so successful and why “Avatar” will be even more so

Published in Concept test · 1 March 2010
Tags: Moviesurveyconcepttest
Survey date: December 2009

The launch of the Twilight Saga: New Moon movie was surrounded by much hype and anticipation. Acentric Marketing Research South Africa, evaluated reaction in the UK market with a snap survey* conducted shortly after release, near the end of November 2009. The aim of the survey was to establish interest in the “New Moon” movie concept versus a benchmark movie concept “Law Abiding Citizen”.

Both movie concepts received similar ratings, New Moon receiving marginally better ratings.

This begs the question then: Why has New Moon earned nearly five times as much at the box office so far (approximately £26 million versus £6 million according to the UK Film Council, as of 21 December 2009)?

Firstly an examination of online content shows that New Moon benefitted from far more extensive word of mouth and media coverage. Secondly New Moon was accepted more widely within the UK cinema network.

A follow-up survey conducted at the end of December 2009 verified the effect of this. Awareness levels of the two movies were quite different – awareness being strongly in favour of New Moon, as was movie theatre acceptance.

In conclusion it seems plausible that much of New Moon’s success can be attributed to: Sheer marketing power, public relations and word of mouth (no doubt enhanced by its cult status). The movie concept itself didn’t have any special appeal.

In the second survey, we also assessed some other movies which have recently been released. Of these movies, Avatar seems poised to better New Moon having already achieved far higher levels of awareness and purchases early in its life cycle (it had just been released). It looks set to be a blockbuster…

Note: Two surveys of 100 respondents each were conducted amongst members of the UK public. The results were weighted to ensure representation of the UK (those aged 16 and above).

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