What are the Patterns of Film Preferences for Different Groups of People?

Beyond the Multiplex found that genres cluster into nine patterns of film preferences. These are:

1) Suspense/ Thriller; Action/ Adventure; Comedy; Drama; Sci-fi

2) Drama; Documentary; Suspense/ Thriller

3) Romantic comedy; Comedy; Romance

4) Comedy

5) Comedy; Action/ Adventure; Drama; Suspense/ Thriller; Sci-fi; Romantic comedy; Family film; Fantasy; Animation; Romance; Classic film; Documentary; Musical; Horror; Comic book movie

6) Drama; Family film; Romantic comedy; Romance; Comedy; Musical; Classic film; Documentary; Suspense/ Thriller

7) Sci-fi; Fantasy; Action/ Adventure; Comedy; Suspense/ Thriller; Animation; Comic book movie; Horror

8) Art House / Film with particular artistic value; Drama; Foreign language film; Documentary; Classic film; Comedy; Suspense/ Thriller

9) No stated preference for any particular genre

This is based on an analysis of survey data from the BFI and DCMS.

Distinctions in film preferences

Only one group (8) preferred art house film and foreign language film but also watched a wide range of other films. Comedy was liked by every group except for (2).

Is there a pattern in people’s socio-cultural profiles that influences film preferences?

Dispositions towards specific sets of film genres are influenced to some degree by demographic factors, where education and income have the greatest influence. People who prefer genres such as art house and foreign language film are more likely to have higher levels of formal education and annual income and be urban-dwelling. However, this is a weak relationship and no single socio-cultural measure absolutely determines film taste.

To what degree is socio-cultural background an indicator in film preference?

Socio-cultural background does not determine a person’s film taste or their preference for particular film genres and/or types. For example, people from all sorts of socio-cultural backgrounds watch and develop an interest in art house and foreign language film alongside mainstream film. This is notable when exploring entities such as specialised and mainstream as film genre categories through the project’s data ontology, and in both the audience member interviews and film-elicitation group transcripts