Those of you who follow my weekly News 3 movie reviews — are aware that I am known as “The People’s Film Critic”. I always will watch for, and listen to, the audience’s reactions and responses. The stars I award each film are always higher when I hear audible gasps or see the hankies come out to wipe away the tears. A comedy’s rating is higher when there is laughter all throughout the film. Best test of all — is waiting for the applause that may come as the end credits begin to roll. Rarely (but it does happen), the audience will actually cheer, yell at the screen or applaud during a movie.
Ed Mintz, the founder of CinemaScore, during a recent interview that we had together, pointed out that my audience measurement may not be as good as his polling audience. Those who attend an opening night (usually on a Wednesday or Friday) and are also paying for the movie, will be more critical than those who regularly flock to see a free screening.
It is so exciting that Las Vegas is the home of CinemaScore . Thanks to the vision of Ed Mintz, CinemaScore is perhaps the most reliable polling of new motion pictures in the United States and Canada. This bold statement is made for two reasons. The scope and the simplicity of the measurement.
From their website: “Since 1978, CinemaScore has been polling moviegoers at major movie releases on opening night to collect demographic information and calculate a distinctive CinemaScore grade.” (Currently polling in 25 major cities.)
From their website: “A movie’s overall CinemaScore can range from A+ to F. Each opening weekend, CinemaScore polls moviegoers directly at theatres across North America, including Canada. Pollsters provide audience members a ballot with six questions—including an A to F grade scale, purchase and rental interest and demographic data. To answer these questions, moviegoers bend back tabs on the CinemaScore ballot (instead of having to use a pen or pencil to fill out a questionnaire or survey). After the movie ends, audience members return their ballots to CinemaScore’s pollsters, who tabulate the data and send the results immediately to CinemaScore.”
In my further research, I am amazed at the absolute accuracy of CinemaScore’s projection of total dollars that should be earned for each major film release. This continues to be such critical data for the movie studios to distribute and the entire industry to obtain and have access to. More often than not, when you see or hear a new film being advertised on television, radio, newspapers and on social media –The CinemaScore letter grade is included. For Ed, his son Harold and members of their family, are all working hard — with creativity, integrity and utilizing new technology — to ensure that CinemaScore remains a most trusted name in the movie business.