Empire Cinemas and Dr David Lewis reveal how film impacts our lives

image001 (17)The Emotional Power of Film: Empire Cinemas’ Cin-sations Part Two reveals how film impacts our lives

·Almost one fifth (19%) of the UK say cinema provides an emotional release

· Comedy gives our body a great aerobic workout and 32% of Brits say relieves stress

· 16% of men think going to the cinema to watch a romcom is good for their relationship

· One in four say watching an action film is good for them

·  ET going home voted Biggest Tearjerker Cinematic Moment

· Psychologist Dr David Lewis explains your next cinema visit won’t just leave you feeling good – it could be doing you good as well!”

· Watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens could be good for you


London, UK 28th December: A recent study by Empire Cinemas, the UK’s largest independent cinema chain, reveals the extent to which watching a film at the cinema can exert huge power over our emotions.

The research shows that for almost one fifth (19%) of the UK cinema provides an emotional release, with happiness being the most important reason for selecting a film (65%), ahead of laughter (58%), adrenaline (24%) and sadness (18%). The power of film is clear; one in ten (10%) say watching a film at the cinema has helped them tackle a difficult issue in their lives.

The power of a good tearjerker shouldn’t be underestimated, with almost one in five of the UK admitting the last time they had a good cry was watching a tearjerker in the cinema. 5% even admit to crying more during a film that the breakup of their last relationship. ET going home was declared the biggest tearjearker movie moment, while Titanic’s ‘King of the World’ scene was named the most romantic.

On the subject of tearjerkers, psychologist Dr David Lewis offers some insight into the findings. He reveals: “An emotion-provoking movie offers an opportunity to display intense feelings in public without restraint or embarrassment. When it comes to tear jerking scenes, such as the moment ET goes home, the emotional benefits are great. The chance to weep openly and without social discomfort can prove profoundly cathartic. Emotional tears contain an array of beneficial substances such as Leu-enkephalin, a natural painkiller. As a result such tears reduce stress and make it easier to deal with other aspects of our lives.”

Watching romcoms appears to be a bonding exercise for many Brits; one in seven (14%) say they feel closer to their partner after watching a romcom, whilst 7% of men think these films give them a better chance in their love lives. A further 16% of men think that going to the cinema to watch a romcom is good for their relationship, compared to just one in ten (11%) of female correspondents.

Comedy helps relieve stress, say almost a third (32%), whilst one fifth (20%) say comedy films have helped them during difficult times in their lives. A further one in five (20%) even say they feel ‘funnier’ after watching a comedy. The benefits of comedy do not just end with relieving pressure, it also turns out that comedy provides us with a body workout and triggers feel good chemicals in our bodies. In the research, Monty Python’s Life of Brian won for funniest movie moment with the scene that asks, “what have the Romans ever done for us?”

Dr David Lewis explains: “The belly laughs produced by a film like Monty Python’s Life of Brian gives our whole body a great aerobic workout. Unrestrained laughter massages the digestive system, increases blood flow to brain and muscles, exercises the lungs and triggers the release of ‘feel good’ chemicals in the brain. One of these, dopamine, has been described as the ‘gas pedal of pleasure’ creating sensations of intense delight.”

Cinemagoers who have and who will watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens over the Christmas period will be taken on a journey of sensations. The Cin-sations Part 2 study reveals that nearly one in four (23%) of the UK say watching an action film is good for them. After viewing an action film in the cinema, one in ten – the equivalent of 5m adults – say that they work faster and better at work, whilst 13% of Brits claim that the cinema provides their adrenalin fix.


On the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Dr David Lewis tells: “To generate powerful emotions a movie must provide characters with whom audiences can emphasise and a story line so engrossing the audience becomes totally caught up in the story. Such immersion generates a mental state known as ‘flow’. Time passes unnoticed and nerve cells in your brain, known as mirror neurons, respond as if you were taking part of the action. For fans, the new Star Wars movie draws them deep into the fast paced story line by combining familiar faces from previous episodes with new excitements and challenges.”

Below is the list of favourite cinematic moments across all film genres:


Film scene


Most romantic movie moment

Titanicthe “King of the World” scene on the bridge of the boat


Most adrenalin-fueled cinematic moment

The Italian Job – the famous mini car chase


Most feel good cinematic moment

Shawshank Redemption – the escape scene where Andy emerges to freedom


Funniest cinematic moment

Monty Python’s Life of Brian – scene asking “what have the Romans ever done for us?”


Biggest tearjerker cinematic moment

ET – the moment when ET went home


Jon Nutton, Marketing Director for Empire Cinemas said: “From comedy, to feel-good, to action films and everything in between; film and cinema provide a real platform for emotional output for our customers and for filmgoers. People have been at their happiest, saddest and most inspired whilst watching films, which is evidence of the power of film & cinema and why it’s such a celebrated industry. Our ‘Cin-sations’ research has proved that the cinema offers customers not only a visual product, but a place to come and experience true feelings of all kinds.”  


Justin Ribbons, CEO of Empire Cinemas said: “Film plays an important role in people’s lives and it’s clear that it takes us on an emotional journey where we feel a huge range of feelings. 2015 saw some hugely exciting emotional releases, such as Inside Out and The Theory of Everything, which took filmgoers through a range of sensations, and 2016’s line up looks sure to do the same. Cinema is and always will be the best place to see film and to experience the emotions film brings out in us.”

2016 will see a Cin-sational line-up of high-profile releases at Empire Cinemas – for tickets and listings seewww.empirecinemas.co.uk