Thor: The Dark World Wins Battle of Five Movie Trailers in GutCheck Agile Research

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Study names Ender’s Game and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire among the top three action movie trailers most anticipated by GutCheck’s panel of consumers.

The five trailers in the study included Captain Phillips, The Counselor, Ender’s Game, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and Thor: The Dark World.

Among five action movie trailers for movies coming out in October or November 2013, Thor: The Dark World is the movie that respondents were most likely to see in theaters based on an agile research study conducted last week by GutCheck, a leading on-demand research community platform. The five trailers in the study included Captain Phillips, The Counselor, Ender’s Game, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and Thor: The Dark World.

Movie consumers sourced for the study responded positively to all five trailers, but the three favorites based on the quantitative findings were Ender’s Game (80 percent at least somewhat likely to see in theaters), The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (85 percent), and Thor: The Dark World (76 percent). The Hunger Games: Catching Fire scored the highest on all attributes tested, but ultimately lost out to Thor: The Dark World as most anticipated among the five trailers shown when the quantitative and qualitative research was compiled.

Captain Phillips fell in the middle of the rankings, with 74 percent saying that they were at least somewhat likely to see it in theaters. The least liked trailer was The Counselor, with 59 percent of respondents saying that they were at least somewhat likely to see the movie in theaters when it premiered.

“This was incredibly fun research to conduct and certainly timely which is what GutCheck’s research platform is all about,” said Matt Warta, founder and CEO of GutCheck. “Our solution is about timely and relevant consumer insights and with these movies virtually opening right now it doesn’t get more timely than that. Combining a quantitative and qualitative approach meant we were about to deliver meaningful insights fast to the major motion picture studios responsible for the success of these films.”

Based on these quantitative findings, the top three trailers were included in an Instant Research Community (IRC) to understand not only what drove respondents’ interest, but also how to improve the trailers. A total of 208 respondents, ages 18-54, who have been to the movies in the past six months and are interested in action movies, completed the quantitative survey to identify the top three trailers. The qualitative study was completed by 32 panel members in a GutCheck IRC.

Key findings published in the GutCheck report ( included implications for the top three movie trailers as well as these general findings:

  • Sequels or movies that are part of a larger franchise through another form of media, such as print, resonate more with the target audience. Respondents who were familiar with the The Hunger Games book series or were fans of Marvel Comics had been anticipating these premieres even before seeing the trailers. These franchises have large, existing fan bases which contribute to the overall appeal and interest of the movie.
  • The cast of the movie, especially Academy Award winning cast members, can drive interest for the film if they are highlighted appropriately in the trailer. Though Ender’s Game came in third place in the qualitative test, much of the interest for the movie was due to Harrison Ford being one of the key characters. Additionally, other child/teen cast members who were either nominated for or awarded an Academy Award led respondents to expect high-quality acting in the film.
  • In order to be appealing to a wide audience, trailers must have a clear plot and storyline, a high quality and recognizable cast, and create suspense. All three trailers had at least one of these elements, but Thor: The Dark World had all three. Respondents understood the plot for the most part, were familiar with the cast, and were excited to see how the plot would resolve itself. Additionally, the trailer featured some of the lesser-known storylines that included hints of romance and comedy. This made the movie even more appealing to those who consider the superhero action to be less appealing.

About GutCheck
GutCheck is an on-demand research community platform that provides real-time insights from specific customers with quality that is equivalent to or better than traditional research communities. Unlike these offerings that can challenge timelines and budgets, GutCheck’s advanced tools and efficient services deliver relevant feedback in days instead of weeks and 3 – 5x more research for the same budget. For more information:

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Media Contact:
Laura Taylor
Taylor Strategic Communications for GutCheck
(303) 346-9149 office
(720) 556-2640 mobile

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