CinemaScore is a market research firm based in Las Vegas. It surveys film audiences to rate their viewing experiences with letter grades, reports the results, and forecasts box office receipts based on the data.
Ed Mintz founded CinemaScore in 1979 after The Cheap Detective disappointed him. Ed Mintz wished he could have heard beforehand what "real people, not critics" thought of the film. The company conducts surveys to audiences who have seen a film in theaters, asking them to rate the film and specifying what drew them to the film. Its results are published in Entertainment Weekly. CinemaScore also conducts surveys to determine audience interest in renting films on video, breaking the demographic down by age and sex and passing along information to video companies like Fox Video Corporation.
CinemaScore representatives are present in 35 large cities across North America. Each Friday, representatives in several of the cities give opening-day audiences a small survey card. The card asks for age, gender, a grade for the film between A and F, whether they would rent or buy the film on DVD or Blu-ray, and why they chose the film. CinemaScore typically receives about 400 cards per film. The ratings are divided by gender and age groups (under 18, 18-24, 25-34,35-49 and 50 and up); film studios and other subscribers receive the data at about 11 pm Pacific Time.