EXCLUSIVE: A majority of moviegoers definitely plan to head back to movie theaters once COVID-19 quells, however, 56% will take their time.
Those are some of the conclusions unveiled Wednesday morning in analytics company EDO’s “Social Distancing Moviegoing and TV Habits” report, which polled 6,800 respondents nationwide last week (March 24-28), largely moviegoers, on their at-home viewing habits during this quarantine time, as well as their readiness to return to the cinema.
In promising news for exhibitors and studios, more than 70% of those polled indicated they were likely to return to theaters once they reopened, with a substantial 45% saying they were “highly likely.”
At the time same, a combined 45% said they would come back very soon, broken down as 20% returning immediately and 25% a few days later. However, 45% said they would wait a few weeks to head back to the cinema once they reopen, with 11% of respondents saying they’d wait several months.
Overall, since movie theaters closed, about 75% of those in the study said they were likely to purchase movies on-demand. Following exhibition’s shutdown, many studios had no choice but to fast-track their current theatrical titles into the home window with such movies as Onward, Sonic the Hedgehog, Invisible Man, Bloodshot, The Hunt and more. Over Easter weekend, Universal is making Trolls World Tour available for a 48-hour rental at $19.99.
U.S. and Canadian exhibitors began closing down March 16, and at this point in time could remain shuttered until early June. This occurred in tandem as major studios began removing their event films from the spring schedule, with MGM’s No Time to Die, Disney’s Mulan and Black Widow, Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part II and more pulling out of their release dates.
Those polled by EDO skewed female, with roughly half under the age of 35. The group largely at 95% saw at least two movies over the last six months. Nearly the entire group said they were at least somewhat concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic.
Another takeaway from the study was the split in regards to how those polled believed TV advertisers should handle the COVID-19 crisis. Although 45% said TV ads do not need to address the crisis, another 42% felt that some TV advertising should be changed to be more sensitive to the virus’ impact.
EDO is backed by three-time Oscar-nominated actor Edward Norton. The firm has been making waves in the movie-testing sector with their digital polling versus the industry’s standard pencil and paper. The polling has yielded more insightful research for those studios that have used the technology.