School is finally out for most kids across the U.S., many of whose vacations were delayed to make up for extra snow days racked up during another tough winter. Families can now take a short breather for a few weeks before Back to School shopping starts in earnest—the National Retail Federation reported that last year, the highest proportion of shoppers (44.5%) started buying for kids ages 6-17 between 3 weeks to a month prior to the new school year.
Why not use that time to take in a summer blockbuster movie? Our YouthBeat data shows that nearly half (48%) of 1st-4th grade kids go out to see a movie monthly. The kids, then, will be ready and excited to go. But which of this summer’s offerings will delight them the most?
Let’s look at 3 options: 1) Jurassic World, 2) Inside Out, and 3) Minions.
Jurassic World is already the summer’s juggernaut movie. Rated PG-13, it may be a bit scary for the youngest kids. The theme of dinosaurs, however, is a perennial favorite even among preschoolers—10% of kids 2-5, including 14% of boys 2-5, want a dinosaur-themed birthday party. Plus, kids are likely to have seen earlier films on DVD at home, familiarizing them with the content. We predict that many families, especially those school-age kids, will make this their summer movie choice. It will delight kids who love dinosaurs, who have lots of energy to burn while pretending to be them, and who get a lift in confidence from having seen the most talked-about movie of the summer.
Inside Out (rated PG) is a movie about feelings (gasp!). Feelings don’t appear on the top 10 list of favorite birthday party themes anywhere. The movie is surprisingly accurate about memory creation and storage, and for half of the narrative the main character is guided only by her fear, disgust, and anger. What, then, is in it for kids? A couple of important things—first, as of press time, it’s grossing the second-highest of any movie this summer. That will make kids feel “in the know” for seeing it. Plus, its honest look at the positive and negative forces driving all humans will give kids permission to live within their own skins, even if they don’t always feel like being on their best behavior. That makes this a “feel-good” movie that, whether or not it is seen in the theater, is likely to go into many, many families’ regular home viewing rotations once it is released on DVD.
And then there are the Minions (rated PG). Not yet released, we predict this to be the most beloved movie of the summer for the preschool and grade school crowds for a few big reasons. First, it is arguably a superhero movie—the main characters support super villains—and superheroes are the #4 favorite birthday party theme among preschoolers ages 2-5 (18%). Second, the Minions are already familiar from the Despicable Me movies and attractions at Universal Studios. This makes them feel “popular” to kids, who will get a boost of self-esteem by affiliation when they go see it. Third and most important, the main characters are innocent and well-meaning, but they make lots of mistakes and blunders on their journeys. Sounds a lot like…children. Celebrating minions, then, is tantamount to making the children in the theaters the stars of the movie. What could be more thrilling than that?
For your brand, consider how you can give kids a brush with popularity, a feeling of acceptance, and leave them happy. See how you can incorporate some blockbuster magic into your brand experience.