Adding cold statistical data to a hot Internet topic to reach a rather lukewarm conclusion, a new study shows that 49 percent of Americans surveyed believe movie trailers these days give away too many of the film’s best scenes—not that this will stop them from seeing that movie anyway. The poll found that nearly half of respondents believed they’d already seen all the good stuff in a movie’s preview, with 16 percent “agreeing strongly,” presumably by using swears. On the other hand, only 32 percent believe that trailers give away too much of the plot. Another 48 percent disagree with that, while the remaining 20 percent believe movie screens are magic portals into the lives of beautiful, 11-foot giants, whose whims are clearly unpredictable.
But even with these relatively large numbers of people who believe they’ve been spoiled on plot twists or standout scenes, overly revealing trailers, perhaps not surprisingly, have barely any impact on whether audiences will still see a movie. In fact, only 19 percent of respondents said they’ve skipped a film after being spoiled by a plot-heavy preview (and one could make the reasonable assumption they probably weren’t going to like that movie anyway, if knowing what it’s about turned them off).
Even more reassuring to studios looking for validation to keep on doing what they’re doing, 35 percent said those overly revealing trailers had no impact on their decision, and 24 percent said, actually, seeing so much of the plot spelled out only made them want to see a movie more. Again, the remaining 22 percent goes unaccounted for, perhaps because those people said spoiler-y trailers make them want to wear a market researcher’s skin like a wetsuit.
Further arguing for the status quo: Trailers, too revealing or otherwise, remain the No. 1 motivator for getting people to see a movie, with 48 percent citing them as the biggest factor, followed closely by the 46 percent of Americans who cite “personal recommendations” from your friends (all of whom, by the way, are secret studio plants). And confirming that nearly 100 percent of what we do around here is utterly meaningless, some 39 percent say they’ll see a movie based solely on the fact that it’s a sequel of another movie they’ve already enjoyed, while a mere 25 percent make their decision because of a review they read online.
Other motivating factors for movie attendance include hearing about it on TV (23 percent), seeing it on a movie-booking site like Fandango (6 percent), or being the ghost of an usher cruelly trapped in a theater, your shushes going forever unheeded while the ungrateful living waste their precious lives complaining, “I already saw this in the trailer!” (0.000001 percent). [via The Hollywood Reporter]