Likability Trumps Star Power At The Box Office

Likability Trumps Star Power At The Box Office

They may not draw hordes of paparazzi or receive top-billing, but lesser-known, well-regarded actors like Philip Seymour Hoffman and Kristen Wiig have selling power.

According to research from Nielsen PreView, films featuring actors who are well-liked earned significantly higher revenues at the box office than films headlined by actors with stronger name recognition. 

In 2006 and 2007, comedy films featuring well-liked actors generated an average of $75 million in box office revenues, while those with less-liked actors earned only $44 million, on average.  In contrast, how well the actor is known made little difference at the box office.

The takeaway: films and brands that align with lesser-known, but well-regarded actors with loyal fans may see better returns than those generated by bigger celebrities.

Read Nielsen PreView’s Advertiser Handbook for more insights on entertainment media strategies.

Learn more about other recent Nielsen PreView studies on R-Ratings, 3-D films, and digital streaming video.