Bad News for Movie Theater Industry: Moviegoers May Not Return After Pandemic

November 7, 2020

Streaming Services and Gaming See Big Uptick

The movie theater industry has work to do if it wants to lure people back post-pandemic. Many consumers say they are unlikely to return to movie theaters. Instead, they have flocked to home video streaming services and video games. These are the conclusions of a new Colling Media Snapshot Survey.

The Colling Media Snapshot Survey was conducted on October 19-20, 2020 and canvassed 550 adults 18+ from throughout the United States. The study’s purpose was to determine to what extent the pandemic has changed attitudes and behaviors about patronizing movie theaters, subscribing to streaming video services, and purchasing gaming consoles.

Top findings of the Snapshot Survey:

  • 65.5% of U.S. consumers say they are either very likely or likely to go back to seeing movies at a movie theater when the pandemic is over. What will trouble the movie theatre industry is that 20% of consumers are undecided about whether they will return to theaters, and 14.4% say they are either very unlikely or unlikely to do so. Just as concerning, 21.2% of consumers say they have not missed going to the movies.
  • 55.8% of survey respondents say that they have become a new subscriber to at least one home video streaming service (Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, and Hulu) since the pandemic started.
  • 27.8% of consumers say that they have purchased a new home video game system (Nintendo Switch, Sony PlayStation, or Microsoft Xbox) since the pandemic started.

“We may be seeing a fundamental change in how people are consuming entertainment,” says Brian Colling, CEO of Colling Media. “Only time will tell if the movie theater industry will return to full health, but it must certainly be troubling to Hollywood that a large number of consumers appear to have shifted to in-home entertainment consumption which could become permanent. We have seen many brands maximize this unprecedented time with strategic programmatic and integrated channel partnerships. This enables them to reach customers while they’re consuming their favorite videos, movies, and entertainment. This presents powerful branding opportunities and enables consumers to visit a website or landing page instantly. And through powerful attribution tools, we can measure which tactics and channels are delivering the best results.”

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