Rocky is America’s favorite indie movie of all time, but Millennials don’t agree

Oct 11 2023

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif, October 11, 2023 – Rocky is America’s favorite indie movie of all time, according to a poll of streaming subscribers conducted by Bitcentral’s ViewNexa™, the unified workflow solution that simplifies video management, streaming, the consumer application experience, and distribution for media companies and content owners.  The findings come from the company’s new report, ‘How to follow the audience: the challenges and opportunities in today’s streaming market.’

The research shows a fifth (20%) of respondents cited Rocky as their favorite independent film, with My Big Fat Greek Wedding coming in second (15%) and American Psycho completing the top three (15%).

Rocky, however, is a bigger hit with older viewers than Millennials (27-42 year-olds). A fifth of Generation X (43-58 year-olds) viewers chose it as their favorite and it’s even more popular with Baby Boomers (59-77 year-olds), almost a third of whom chose it as their favorite. Among Millennials it’s a different story, with only 14% rating it as their favorite indie film. American Psycho is their most popular (23%). Even Rocky can’t beat newer films to cut through to younger movie fans: they generally look more favorably on films from the early 2000s. American Psycho, Kick-Ass, and Billy Elliot all rank highly.

However, it would be wrong to generalize by simply attaching each generation to the films of their lifetime. There are nuances to each audience, with Millennials demonstrating the most support for 1968’s Barbarella, despite not being born at the time it came out, and ranking Horror as a favorite genre. Millennials rank 1971’s A Clockwork Orange and 1968’s Night of the Living Dead higher than many older audiences.

“These results demonstrate that Rocky still has the punching power to be America’s favorite indie film,” said Greg Morrow, GM Streaming Media Group, Bitcentral. “We ran the survey to celebrate the best of independent film-making – so many are all-time classics – and it’s fantastic to see there’s such an appetite for indie films among younger viewers, even if their tastes veer on the goriness of American Psycho rather than the glory of Rocky.”

Such evidence goes to show that fans of a specific genre, such as Horror, are open to watching relevant content regardless of when it was made, suggesting streaming providers don’t necessarily have to spend big on new content. The research also shows that younger viewers are more likely to embrace indie films than older viewers. While there is widespread support for independents – nine out of ten streaming service subscribers saying supporting them is important – Millennials are the most committed, with 34% saying supporting indie films is extremely important, which is substantially above the general trend at 21%.


Despite huge spend on content, the major streaming services are struggling to satisfy viewers with the content they want to watch, with only half (55%) of horror fans saying they are getting good value from their subscriptions, while a fifth say that searching for content they want to watch is challenging. Nearly half of streaming subscribers (44%) say it takes them up to 20 minutes to find something to watch – with Generation X experiencing the most difficulty (50%). Millennials are slightly less affected (40%).

‘How to follow the audience: the challenges and opportunities in the streaming market today’ is available to download at

America’s top ten indie films of all time:

  1. Rocky
  2. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
  3. American Psycho
  4. Good Will Hunting
  5. Easy Rider
  6. Texas Chainsaw Massacre
  7. The Passion of the Christ
  8. Kick Ass
  9. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  10. Night of the Living Dead




Notes for editors:

The interviews were conducted online by Sapio Research in August 2023 using an email invitation and an online survey. The research was conducted among 1,000 adult consumers that subscribe to major streaming services including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and Apple TV+.


About ViewNexa

ViewNexa™ provides a unified workflow that simplifies video management, streaming, the consumer application experience, and distribution for media companies and content owners. It empowers media companies and content owners to diversify their offerings to reach, engage, and monetize new audiences via a single, trusted partner. It improves time to market, increases audience reach and monetization options, and lowers engineering integration and content hosting costs — which all lead to increased ROI.

ViewNexa operates in the dedicated streaming media group within Bitcentral, that has the dynamism and agility of a start-up, while being grounded in Bitcentral’s rich history and depth of experience in media workflows, which is built upon 20+ years’ experience serving leading media companies in the industry.

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