‘High School Musical 2’ Shines Light on TV Viewing Habits of Teens, Parents

September 7, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Media & Entertainment | Television | Youth & Gen X

The singing-and-dancing saga of Troy Bolton and his East High crew captured the attention of kids across the country on August 17, when “High School Musical 2” (HSM2) premiered, but the way it was watched varied, according to (pdf) a study by Integrated Media Measurement Inc. (IMMI).

Specifically, the eagerly anticipated sequel turned into a national social event of sorts, with considerable out-of-home viewership, and there was significant ‘parental bailout’ within the first half of the movie, IMMI found.

According to the study, significant numbers of viewers – children and adults – watched the premiere and subsequent showings in locations other than their homes:


  • 23.6% of people age 13-54 watched the premiere in a location other than their home
  • 35.3% of teenagers age 13-17 leaving home to see the highly anticipated sequel.
  • The average number of people who watched the movie outside of their homes for all August showings was 25.4%.

The data also shows that many parents didn’t stick around for the full movie:


  • 70% of adults age 35-54 with children watched HSM2 for less than 60 minutes.
  • 58% watching the movie for less than 45 minutes, and 42% for less than 30 minutes.
  • Nearly 3 of 10 parents – 29% – watched for less than 20 minutes.

“Because the first movie became a sort of ‘lifestyle’ for kids, it was only natural that teens would want to watch the sequel with friends, which accounts for the high out-of-home viewership,” said Amanda Welsh, head of research for IMMI.


“Because kids talked-up the movie so much we believe more parents attempted to watch it with their children; however, the audiences within those households shifted dramatically due to ‘parental bailout’ within the first hour.”

About the study: The study was implemented through a research panel built by IMMI that mirrors US Census results for fundamental demographics in key markets. IMMI provides thousands of panel members across the country a cellular phone, asking them to carry it with them wherever they go. The mobile phone is equipped with a technology that creates digital signatures of all the audible media (television, radio and movies) to which it has been exposed. IMMI can determine viewing audiences, as well as certain types of consumer behavior based on a timeline of when the media was viewed or heard.

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