“Going to the movies is an American pastime. However, movie theaters need to help moviegoers look beyond the cost of tickets by promoting the overall value of the theater experience. Advanced screen technology such as 3D and IMAX, new concession offerings, and loyalty promotions are likely to do this, especially among young adults who are frequent moviegoers.”
– Gretchen Grabowski, Travel & Leisure Analyst
This report looks at the following areas:
- How often people go to the movie theater?
- How much money people spend at movie theaters?
- How moviegoers choose a movie theater?
- What would increase movie theater attendance?
Despite an increasing number of options to view movies in the comfort of one’s home, going to the movies continues to be a popular pastime. About two thirds of Americans have gone to the movies at least once in the six months prior to being surveyed, and about one in five attend about once a month, on average. However, a trip to the movie theater is becoming increasingly expensive. The cost of movie theater admission is on the rise, and most moviegoers say they consider the cost of movie tickets in choosing a theater. To attract patrons and justify increasing costs, theater operators rely on studios to produce and market films with broad appeal while taking it upon themselves to promote the unique experience that advanced projection technology, large screens, and other theater innovations provide.
This report measure show often consumers go to the movie theater and with whom, how much they spend on movie tickets and concession items, and the factors that impact their choice of one movie theater over another. Opinions on movie theaters and offerings that would encourage more frequent attendance are also discussed, as well as moviegoers’ exposure to movie theaters’ on-screen advertising.
Mintel categorizes moviegoers based on frequency of visits:
- Heavy Moviegoers are defined as those respondents who have attended a theater to see a movie six or more times in the last six months;
- Moderate Moviegoers are those that attended four to five times;
- Light Moviegoers have attended one to three times;
- Non-Moviegoers have not attended the theater to see a movie during the six months prior to the survey.
For the purposes of this report, Mintel concentrates on commercial cinema venues. Festivals, army bases, schools, museums, libraries, prisons, airlines, restaurants, cafés, and other venues that license films for profit are not included; only sites whose primary day-to-day function is the commercial display of cinema are considered.
Companies that own, lease, manage, or operate facilities for the day-to-day commercial display of films are the subject of this report, and will be referred to as “movie theaters.” The report also refers to “movie theater owners and operators.”