Hispanics Go to the Movies: Starring Mobile and Social


Opening weekends and holidays represent an untapped opportunity to reach Hispanic movie goers on mobile.

WASHINGTON, DC— A new report released today, Hispanics Go to the Movies: Starring Mobile and Social found that Hispanics’ movie-going habits far exceed that of the general US population, however discovery and purchasing habits were not as technology-driven as expected, given recent Hispanic mobile usage statistics.
Hispanics’ top sources for movie discovery are traditional ones, such as word of mouth, in theatre movie trailers and TV ads.  While 75% use mobile to find movie listings, 92% of respondents still buy movie tickets at the theater.
The results were even more surprising given the respondents were members of the MocoSpace mobile gaming platform.
The findings indicate that the movie industry has opportunities to better reach, engage and increase sales by enhancing mobile capabilities and content. Almost 85% of respondents expressed interest in mobile capabilities and content enhancements. Top areas for improvement included mobile enabled deals and promo alerts, reward programs and trailer previews.
Holidays and opening weekends stand out as opportunities to better market and reach Hispanics via their mobile phones. 73% of Hispanics reported going to a movie theater over a holiday and 58% on movie opening weekends.
“We are honored to have taken part in this very relevant, important endeavor. Our agency, along with our client NBC Universal Motion Pictures, and dedicated media partners, see great strength and value in continued research and analytics of Hispanic entertainment consumption habits, especially when it comes to motion pictures in the United States. Good research lights the way for us to continue building Latinos’ participation in today’s vast entertainment landscape.”
 Alex López Negrete, CEO and President, Lopez Negrete Communications, Inc.
“Unlike overall US consumer behavior, Hispanics continue to go to the movies in record numbers.  MocoSpace sees very strong results with movie release campaigns.  The creative campaigns see high engagement with movie premiere fan pages, badges, videos/trailers, banners, etc.  I believe there is tremendous, untapped upside for the movie studios to engage Hispanics on mobile.”
Justin Siegel, co-founder of MocoSpace.
“Movie marketers are still in the early days for reaching and engaging
movie goers with mobile overall.  Marketers might want to begin with Hispanics,
given their high attendance and mobile first habits. Opening weekends and holidays seem like the right place to start.”
Julie Diaz-Asper, founding partner, Social Lens Research 
Social Lens Research recruited 2,308 respondents via MocoSpace, a mobile game platform targeting multicultural and on-the-go consumers, to determine if movie discovery and purchasing habits among Hispanics relied heavily on the use of social media and mobile phones.  Lopez Negrete Communications offered strategic guidance around the Hispanic market and movie industry expertise to the study.

The respondents were:

  • Hispanics residing in the US with 89% speaking English and Spanish almost equally at home.
  • 62% between the ages of 18–34.
  • 55% females, of which 50% have children under 18 years of age.

Key findings:

  • Hispanics surveyed are avid moviegoers; 75% go to a movie at least once a month and 34% go more than three times a month.
  • Over half of respondents (53%) reported going to the movies with 2 or more people: family-movie/taking the kids going topped the list at 35%; taking in a movie with friends at 34% was the second top reason; date night a close third at 32%.
  • 58% tend to go by the end of opening weekend with Friday night being the biggest night at 26% followed by Saturday at 20%
  • Holidays are often celebrated with a trip to the movies with 73% going to the movies during the Holidays. The top holidays for the movies were:
    • Halloween 42%
    • Valentine Day 41%
    • Labor Day 33%
    • Christmas Day 32%
    • Memorial Day 29%
    • Thanksgiving Day 27%
  • Top five sources for finding new movies were:
    • TV ads at 57%,
    • Trailer at movie at 47%
    • Recommendation from friend/family 42%,
    • Trailer seen online 39%
    • Buzz on social media 30%
  • Overall, Hispanics are more likely to share about a movie that they LIKE versus DID NOT LIKE. One-to-one communications are critical overall whether they LIKE or DO NOT LIKE a movie. 40%+ shared their opinion via social network sites.
  • If Hispanics LIKE a movie, most will share their opinions by talking to people about a movie in person 55% and texting 54%.
    • Talk to people about the movie in person 55%
    • Text friends to tell them to go see the movie 54%
    • Share my opinion about the movie via social network 46%
    • Call a friend to discuss the movie 25%
    • Write an online movie review 8%
  • If Hispanics do NOT LIKE a movie, they are more likely to share opinions on social media.
    • Talk to people about the movie in person     47%
    • Share my opinion about the movie via social network 41%
    • Text friends to tell them to NOT go see the movie 35%
    • Call a friend to discuss the movie 24%
    • Do an online movie review 7%
  • 65% watch a trailer before going to see the movie.
  • While 75% use their mobile to find a movie listing, 92% purchase a movie ticket in person at the theater. Top sources for finding movie listings included:
    • Go to my local theater’s site      39%
    • Use a search engine site like Google   23%
    • Go to theater and see what is playing 16%
    • Use Fandango       11%
    • Use other movie app/site 7%
  • 54% felt that buying movie tickets on their mobile phone was too hard
  • 85% were interested in at least one of the mobile features and functionality enhancements tested. Topping the list were:
    • Promos and discount alerts       38%
    • A movie reward program for mobile     34%
    • A better way to see movie trailers on my mobile phone    32%
    • A calendar feature for alerts for when tickets go on sale    26%
    • An app that makes it easier to buy tickets on my phone   22%
    • More movie promo ads    21%

Top mobile marketing and commerce opportunities for reaching Hispanic moviegoers:

#1 – Holiday and Opening weekend promos and deal alerts: Get more Hispanics to choose your movie or theater by offering promos and campaigns around holidays and weekends. Simple promos and deal alerts, campaigns on high movie going times are a reasonable and easy action to implement for attracting more Hispanics to a show-time at your theater.

#2 – Make it a more local/social/rewarding movie experience: Movie going by nature is a local experience. It’s not surprising that up to 39% of Hispanics go directly to a local theater’s site (39%) to find a listing.  A little more surprising however, is that 16% are physically going to a theater to see what movies are playing.  Given the high rates of opening weekend or holiday attendance, there are opportunities to have more location-specific experiences and social events focused in top Hispanic DMAs, to drive buzz and sales for theaters or movie producers.  We believe there are many easy and cost-effective social tactics that will help reward and incentivize customers e.g. a badge for the person who gets the most friends to attend, free popcorn if customers purchase tickets as a group of four or more movie goers.

#3- Facilitate mobile movie ticket sales: A surprising 92% of Hispanics are buying their tickets in-person. 54% felt that buying tickets via mobile was too difficult. 22% felt a better mobile ticketing app was needed. We believe that further exploration about the types of app and usability features that will encourage customers to buy tickets on their mobile is needed.

Hispanics are interested in using social media and mobile phones for movie discovery and ticket purchasing. Is the movie industry ready to employ tactics for better engagement?

Click here for the study’s infographic


MocoSpace is a leading social media destination on the mobile Internet, with over thirty million registered users. Every day, users spend more than one million hours finding new friends, chatting, listening to music, watching videos, joining fan pages and playing games from all web enabled devices. For a trendy, multicultural, on-the-go generation, MocoSpace is the mobile community of choice. Launched in 2005, the company is based in Boston, Mass., and is backed by General Catalyst and Softbank Capital. For more information, visit www.jnjmobile.com

Lopez Negrete Communications, Inc. is the nation’s largest independent, Hispanic owned and operated, full-service agency specializing in Hispanic marketing. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, with offices in Los Angeles and New York, the company’s capitalized billings were $193.5 million in 2012. Since 1985, Lopez Negrete has offered a full range of advertising, marketing and public relations services to industry leaders, including Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Bank of America, Verizon Communications Inc., Kraft Foods (Kraft Singles and Kraft Natural Cheeses), NBC Universal Motion Pictures Group, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, AARP, , Chrysler Corporation, Samsung Telecommunications America, the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation and others. With more than 200 employees, Lopez Negrete Communications, Inc. is a proven leader in providing fully integrated national Hispanic marketing and communications services. For more information, go to www.lopeznegrete.com.

Social Lens Research, based in Washington DC, helps companies make research a more social experience. It creates engaging research experiences that are social and mobile to better understand hard-to-reach audiences. Our proprietary social influencer panel, makes it easy to find and manage social media influencers who serve both as participants and recruiters for our research projects; allowing us to efficiently recruit niche, hard to reach and high quality participants. For more information, visit www.sociallensresearch.com.

For more information, contact:

Julie Diaz-Asper, Founding Partner 
Social Lens Research
Allison Beauchesne, Director Business Development
Jessenia Enriquez-García, Director of Channel Strategy
Lopez Negrete Communications






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