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And Millennials & Teens’ Favorite Movie of All Time Is…

We asked 1000 13-33-year-olds to tell us their favorite movie of all time to create young consumers’ ultimate cinematic ranking…

Despite being blamed for box office woes in recent years, Millennials and teens love the movies. When we asked them to tell us their favorite entertainment inside or out of their homes, going to the movies was number two on their list, and our entertainment spending survey found that seeing movies on the big screen is still a draw for the generation, with six in ten 13-33-year-olds reporting they spend money on movie tickets in an average month, and 57% of 13-33-year-olds prefer to go to the movies on a night out. According to National CineMedia the Millennial movie-goer audience grew 16% in 2015, and is up 8% in 2016 so far.

And those are just the stats around seeing new movies. CineMedia data also shows that Millennials are 50% more likely to name movies as a passion than the general population. This is the generation that grew up with access to any film created during or before their time to watch on repeat via VHS, cable, DVD, and now streaming. With all of Hollywood history at their fingertips, we wanted to know—what are their favorite movies?

In our most recent monthly survey, we asked 13-33-year-olds to answer the question, “What is your favorite movie of all time?”* and compiled the ultimate film ranking for young consumers. Here are their top 15:

*These were open-end response questions to allow us to capture the full range of young consumers’ favorite movies of all time. As with any qualitative question, the responses include those that are top of mind, and those that are actually most enjoyed. The lists are ordered according to number of responses received, and alphabetically when ties occurred. 

What Is Their Favorite Movie of All Time?


      1. Star Wars
      2. Lord of the Rings
      3. Harry Potter
      4. Forrest Gump
      5. The Notebook
      6. Fast and Furious
      7. Avengers
      8. Titanic
      9. The Princess Bride
      10. Jurassic Park
      11. The Wizard of Oz
      12. Dirty Dancing
      13. The Lion King
      14. Pride and Prejudice
      15. Pulp Fiction

Young consumers love the tales of a galaxy far, far away. Star Wars sits on top of the list of their favorite movies, with respondents naming films from both the original trilogy, the recent reboots, or just the entire franchise as their favorites. Clearly fantasy is a favorite for today’s young consumers, with Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter coming in at number two and three on the list. Again, respondents either named one of these film series, or the overall franchise. While Millennials and teens might have access to movies far beyond their own time, the majority of their favorite movies are actually those that have been made in or around their lifespans.

But of course, males’ and females’ opinions on movies are not identical:

Star Wars position at number one on their overall list is absolutely male-driven. For females only, Harry Potter reigns, with more respondents naming one of the franchise’s films than any other. Lining up with gender norms, males were more likely to name action films as favorites, while romance rose to the top of females’ favorite list.

To download the PDF version of this insight article, click here.