Most People Are Still Avoiding Movie Theaters, COVID Is Just One Reason
It’s no secret that the fate of movie theaters has been up in the air for years. Since the start of the global pandemic, this has become more pronounced, with many questioning the safety of public gatherings in places like movie theaters.
With COVID-19 still a serious reality, CivicScience continues to track how soon people would feel comfortable going to a movie theater (along with other kinds of activities). Recent survey results show that the majority of U.S. adults (68%) say they would feel comfortable returning to theaters now or within two to three weeks.
That represents the highest percentage recorded since CivicScience began tracking comfort levels in 2020. Even though statistically, this is positive for the movie theater industry, 23% of people stated that they would not be returning to movie theaters until four or more months have passed.
How soon from now would you be comfortable going to a movie theater?
With COVID-19 set to remain a constant worry in our lives for years to come, the media and entertainment industry has moved forward with alternative ways to get the public access to new films. That’s why it’s unsurprising that there have been impressive feats achieved by the film industry, primarily with the move to streaming platforms.
Streaming platforms have become an increasingly popular way to watch new movie releases. Even now, as theaters have reopened and comfort levels grow, more people prefer to stream new movies at home. According to April survey data (n=2,713), when movies are released simultaneously on streaming platforms and in theaters, 40% of U.S. adults prefer to stream at home while 23% prefer to visit a theater. Interestingly, preference for theater-going has decreased from 2021 as preference for streaming new movies has increased.
When new movies are released simultaneously to theaters and streaming services, how do you prefer to watch them for the first time?
CivicScience also wanted to determine if movie genres impact viewing preference. The survey results show that people who prefer to stream new movies at home are more likely to watch action movies and drama than people who prefer to see movies in theaters. Curiously, unlike action movies, comedy is more popular among movie-goers, as well as other genres not specifically accounted for by the survey, such as fantasy and sci-fi.
When new movies are released simultaneously to theaters and streaming services, how do you prefer to watch them for the first time? compared with Which of these is your favorite movie genre?
In fact, a quick look at current and upcoming movie releases shows that sci-fi titles – Jurassic World Dominion and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – are the most likely to draw crowds this spring. That’s followed by new films from Top Gun and Harry Potter franchises.
- Jason Collins
- Published: April 27, 2022
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