Don't trust the critics about the latest movies? Don't want to blindly follow the crowd to the current No. 1 box-office hit? Then you might be interested in a new Internet service that will tell you on Saturday morning how people your age, and your gender, responded to a movie that opened the night before.
Cinemascore, Inc., a Las Vegas-based company that has been providing opening-weekend exit-poll data to the media and the movie industry for nearly two decades, is now not only putting the results on its free Web site -- www.cinemascore.com -- but will send the fresh data to your e-mail address within hours after it's collected.
"A critic's opinion is the voice of one person, of specific age and gender," says Ed Mintz, president of Cinemascore. "What we do is poll hundreds of movie- goers and break down the results by age groups and sex."
Mintz says Cinemascore has poll takers in 15 cities across the country, using results from three theaters per movie, on a rotating basis. The number of moviegoers polled ranges from 1,200 to 1,500.
The weekly results break the data down into three age groups -- under 21, 21-34, and 35 and up for each gender.
Example: When the Melissa Joan Hart teen romance "Drive Me Crazy" opened earlier this month, it was generally panned by critics, most of whom are male and over 35.
Cinemascore's poll data showed that male ticket buyers over 35 gave the movie a grade of F, same as the critics, while women under age 21 -- the presumed target audience -- rated it B+.
"Movies aren't just good or bad," says Cinemascore's Mintz. "They're good to some people, bad to others. We try to help people find the movies that they're most likely to enjoy."
Pub Date: 10/24/99