Thursday morning saw one of the hottest events of the year being hosted at Hoyts Broadway – the Val Morgan (VM) Summer Film Fronts. A highly anticipated event, the film fronts provided agency partners with a recap of 2023 and a look forward into the top four genres (with trailers to boot) over the coming year.
Our view at Kaimera has been supportive of the return of cinema post COVID lockdowns but it’s safe to say, we aren’t alone. Standard Media Index (SMI) data for October reflects a year-on-year (YoY) growth of 9.5% in cinema spend (FY24 to date) whilst the total ad market is down 6.9%. In turbulent economic times and despite the high price tag, brands continue to use cinema to maintain awareness and reach high-value audiences.
Here is a recap of the morning’s top genres and some thoughts from Kaimera:
Drama: VM came out of the gate with the drama genre, looking to new releases in Ferrari, Force of Nature: The Dry 2, and Bob Marley: One Love. Whilst the trailers were captivating, what got our attention the most is that 55% of drama admissions in 2023 were P14-39 (+14% YoY). Whilst cinema generally skews younger (52% of admits are P14-39) this is clearly a great genre to reach younger demographics that may be challenging to reach elsewhere.
Comedy: Next up was comedy, where we were reminded of arguably one of the biggest cultural events of 2023 and the #1 comedy release of all time – Barbie! Additionally, we saw some huge releases for 2024 in Mean Girls (the musical), Next Goal Wins, and Anyone But You (we are seeing a strong Australian theme in this film front!). 2023 was a great year for comedy as, with the help of Barbie, the genre saw impressive YoY growth of +99% increase in admissions YoY. Whilst some of the new releases for 2024 will be undeniably hilarious, it is unlikely to see this growth again.
Family: Animated and family movies were next with some major releases for 2024 set to attract multi-generational interest with the prequel Wonka, sequel Inside Out 2, and new animated film Migration. VM shared that admissions for this genre were up 12% for 2023 and 4/10 top films of the year fell in this genre. Clearly this category is a consistent performer, and we anticipate 2024 to be just as strong.
Action: VM saved the #1 film genre for last – action. Action in 2023 took in 20% of all admits and saw some huge releases with another Guardians of the Galaxy and Spider Man film. 2024 will be even bigger as we see some huge mega-budget releases with Dune: Part Two, Furiosa, and Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire. Unsurprisingly, this genre is a great opportunity to reach young males as 68% of 2023 action admits were male and 53% were 14-39.
Cinema continues to be an effective channel to reach high-value audiences and align your brand with premium content, in a highly engaging environment. Whilst cinema does come with a premium price tag, those that choose to run in cinema will certainly reap the benefits of the premium environment. It is safe to say that we are looking forward to the coming blockbusters and the continued return of cinema in Australia.
 Standard Media Index October 2023 Update
 Val Morgan Film Fronts, Summer Edition 2023