Report shows who watches what and where
Angelina Jolie as a CIA agent on the run proved irresistible to film fans making spy thriller Salt the most rented film of 2011. It was followed by action adventure Inception featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy and Facebook-founding fiction The Social Network directed by David Fincher.
LOVEFiLM – Europe’s largest subscription service streaming movies and TV episodes over the Internet and sending DVDs by post – has analysed the rental statistics of over two million members to find out the nation’s biggest film fans, the most popular rentals of the year, favourite film genres and regional favourites.
The top rented UK TV series of the year was BBC2 comedy Coupling by Dr Who and Sherlock writer Steven Moffat, followed by The Inbetweeners which won the Outstanding Achievement Award at the British Comedy Awards last December. Mad Dogs made the third spot as a four-part British comedy and thriller following a group of friends in Majorca.
When it comes to film genre we are a nation of adrenalin seekers with a passion for thrillers and action/adventure movies. These two genres were the most popular for UK film fans in 2011. The most rented movie in the thriller genre was The Hole, which sees brothers Dane and Lucas (Chris Massoglia and Nathan Gamble) face their greatest fears via an infinite hole in their basement.
Half of the top ten rented titles were Academy Award winners including Toy Story 3 for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song, plus The King’s Speech and The Hurt Locker – who both won Best Picture in consecutive years. The Social Network and Inception, which featured in the top five rentals, also picked up three and four gongs respectively.
When it comes to film consumption by city, Londoners proved to be the biggest at-home film fans followed by residents of Birmingham and Brighton.
Although London dominates lists for volume of films rented, if you look outside the capital a number of regional trends emerge. Residents in Birmingham rented the most copies of East is East – the comic story of a mixed-ethnicity family struggling to conform to their father’s strict Pakistani ways; Once Upon A Time in the Midlands was most popular in Nottingham, Mancunians party hardest to the Tony Wilson music biopic 24 Hour Party People, while Sheffield sticks to its own by watching The Full Monty more than any other city. Interestingly, Bristolians are particularly partial to animation – a telling tribute to the birthplace of Aardman Animation’s Wallace and Gromit.
The regional data also revealed film fans in London, Birmingham and Brighton rent more ‘adult’ titles than anyone else in the country. It may be pure coincidence, but Birmingham and London are also the biggest consumers of Blu-ray discs – regarded by many as superior when it comes to viewing quality and clarity of picture
The trend of staying-in as the new going-out is still strong across the UK. LOVEFiLM experienced a record number of new member sign-ups in 2011 and an unprecedented level of growth. The service’s growing membership of two million film and TV fans have access to LOVEFiLM Instant which allows instant streaming of film and TV series.
2011 saw an increase in the popularity of streaming movies instantly, particularly in the UK’s biggest cities. Viewers in London, Birmingham and Manchester topped the league table of those cities where the highest number of films were streamed.
Helen Cowley, Editor of LOVEFiLM, commented:
“When it comes to films and TV, it is clear we are a nation with eclectic tastes. Brits love Hollywood blockbusters but the past 12 months also saw unwavering support for home-grown acting and production talent too. We have been spoilt for choice by some of the best films and TV series of the last few years and with LOVEFiLM Instant people can watch what they want, when they want – from comedy classics to heart-thumping thrillers.”