2021
9
UK Cinemas Market Report 2021
2022-01-22T03:02:44+00:00
OX1049093
2195
147082
[{"name":"Leisure Time","url":"https:\/\/store.mintel.com\/industries\/leisure-time"}]
Report
en_GB
“Cinemas have experienced both highs and lows during 2021, with the phenomenal success of blockbusters masking more muted performance across the year, as audiences remain tentative about returning regularly. Omicron’s…

UK Cinemas Market Report 2021

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)

Description

The UK Cinemas report identifies consumer attitudes towards cinemas, streamers and exhibitors, film genres, and cinema visiting habits in the UK. This Market report covers the market size, market forecast, market segmentation and industry trends for the Cinemas Market in the UK. 

Current Market Landscape 

The stay-at-home conditions over the COVID-19 pandemic were near perfect for streaming services to capitalise on, enjoying stellar growth in 2020. While cinemas were allowed to reopen after the initial lockdown period, the UK cinema industry saw attendances down drastically due to a reduction in prime blockbuster releases and continuing consumer reticence to go to cinemas.

The cinema market will continue to compete with streaming services as the optimum place to see films as studios weigh up the trade-off from building their subscriber bases versus prioritising cinematic releases.

  • 50% of all consumers who have visited the cinema in the last 12 months say they would rather stream or rent new releases at home than watch them at the cinema.
  • 11% of consumers would describe themselves as “extremely comfortable” with visiting a cinema, rising from 6% in June 2021.
  • 52% of all cinema viewers have seen an action film at the cinema in the last 12 months (15 percentage points ahead of drama, the next most popular film genre)

The impact of COVID-19 on the UK Cinema market will mean that attendances will remain modest even when cinemas are allowed to operate at full capacity, with delayed big film releases finally bringing back audiences in large numbers. This report also looks at the current cinema market segmentation, from ticket prices, lobby revenue, booking fees, and retail spend per consumer.

Future Market Trends in Cinemas

Due to cinema closures over 2020 and 2021, studios have been putting films out online first, which has proved profitable for streaming services. Into the longer term we may see a reduction in the theatrical window of exclusivity for cinemas, meaning films will debut both online and in cinemas, making the latter’s job to convince people to come and experience films there first that much harder.

However, whilst streaming poses a short-term threat to cinemas as consumers watch major releases online, longer-term streaming can act as a trailer for the cinema industry as a whole. Consumers may increase their consumption of content via streaming services, and then turn into cinephiles who are more engaged with the medium of film. Cinemas will also look to diversify their content and further branch out into hosting more independent films, live streaming events, and communal events, drawing in a potentially more diverse audience.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our UK Leisure Time market research.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on the cinema market.
  • Market size and forecast of the cinema market.
  • Innovations of companies operating in the cinema market and market factors affecting cinemas’ wider growth opportunities.
  • The frequency of cinema visiting, the genres of films watched, and consumer attitudes towards attending the cinema.
  • The number of streaming services consumers subscribe to and how this affects cinema audiences.
  • Brand Research of operators in the cinema market.

Covered in this report

Film Releases: Fast & Furious 9, Black Widow, Tenet, The Assistant, After We Collided, No Time To Die, Killers of the Flower Moon, One Night in Miami, Downton Abbey, Soul, Mulan, Trolls World Tour, Empire Strikes Back, Inception, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Call of the Wild, Cats, Emma, The Hunt, Wonder Woman 1984, Happiest Season, The Perfect Candidate, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

Brands: Vue, Cineworld, Odeon, Showcase, Empire, Everyman, Curzon, The Light, Omniplex, Picturehouse, Sky, Entertainment One, MUBI, BFI Player, Cycle-In-Cinema, Disney+, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Warner Brothers, Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Walt Disney, Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate Entertainment, Entertainment One, Studiocanal.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Joe Birch, a leading analyst in the Leisure sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Cinemas have experienced both highs and lows during 2021, with the phenomenal success of blockbusters masking more muted performance across the year, as audiences remain tentative about returning regularly. Omicron’s impact is likely to further temper audiences’ enthusiasm for returning, meaning safety measures will continue to be important. Similarly, cinemas will need to create higher-value premium opportunities to drive value from existing committed goers.
Joe Birch
Consumer Technology Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • COVID-19: market context
    • Economic and other assumptions
    • Products covered in this Report
  2. Executive Summary

    • Impact of COVID-19 on cinemas
      • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on cinemas, 2021
    • The market
    • Realignment between studios and exhibitors can have a positive long-term effect on visitor numbers
    • Omicron disruption will dent audience numbers
      • Figure 2: UK cinema market value, 2016-26
    • Rising cost of living could temper leisure activities
    • Consumer anxiety stable in 2021, though Omicron boosts concerns
    • Cineworld agrees exclusive theatrical window with Warner Bros in 2022
    • Companies and brands
    • Showcase cinemas offer private hire for customers
    • UK Cinema Association launches Accessible Screenings UK website to promote accessible screenings in the UK
    • Mobile network operators and broadband providers offer reduced cinema tickets to lure in customers
    • Advertising continues to suffer due to closure of cinemas
    • The consumer
    • Cinemas feel the brunt of COVID-19 lockdowns
      • Figure 3: Cinema visiting, 2018-21
    • Nearly half of cinema-goers visit at least monthly
      • Figure 4: Frequency of cinema visiting, 2019 and 2021
    • Action continues to be the main attraction
      • Figure 5: Genres of film watched at the cinema in the last 12 months, 2020/21
    • Leverage peer influence to encourage cinema visiting
      • Figure 6: Influences to see a film at the cinema, 2021
    • Safety first approach can help operators weather COVID-19’s clouds
    • Diversifying audience occasions can help cinemas rebuild
      • Figure 7: Attitudes towards cinema visiting, 2021
    • Streaming services and cinema visitors have similarities
      • Figure 8: Use of video-streaming services, 2021
  3. Issues and Insights

    • Put cinema visitors on the red carpet
    • Cinemas can benefit from greater tie-ups with streamers
    • Leverage social element to help rebuild audiences in 2022
  4. Market Size and Performance

    • Despite signs of recovery, significant uncertainty remains
      • Figure 9: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on cinemas, 2021
    • 2021 sees steady return of audiences to cinemas and theatres
      • Figure 10: Participation in leisure activities in the last month, 2019, 2021
    • The cinema sector is still very much in recovery mode in 2021
    • 2021 rallies as cinemas re-open
    • Omicron, the next great movie villain, can scupper cinemas’ momentum
      • Figure 11: UK cinema admissions, by month, 2017-21
    • Omicron variant likely to bring COVID-19 anxieties back to the fore
      • Figure 12: Market value for cinemas, 2016-21
      • Figure 13: Market volume for cinemas, 2016-21
  5. Market Forecast

    • Re-alignment between studios and exhibitors can have a positive long-term effect on visitor numbers
    • Agreements on the theatrical will window bolster the outlook for cinemas
    • Delayed blockbusters could give a boost in 2022
    • COVID-19 will continue to have a limiting effect
      • Figure 14: Cinema market volume (admissions), 2021-26
      • Figure 15: UK cinema market value, 2016-26
    • Market drivers and assumptions
      • Figure 16: Key drivers affecting Mintel’s market forecast, 2015-26
    • Forecast methodology
  6. Market Segmentation

    • In uncertain times consumers may look to trade up for a little luxury
    • Increasing retail spend per head helps cinemas
      • Figure 17: UK cinema market, by segment, 2016-21
  7. Market Drivers

    • GDP should reach pre-pandemic levels by the end of Q1 2022…
    • …but the post-COVID bounce-back will be short-term
    • Employment has held up better than expected
    • Inflationary pressures are mounting
    • Consumers’ financial wellbeing has slipped from its recent high point…
      • Figure 18: Household financial wellbeing index, 2016-21
    • …and concerns over inflation are coming to the fore
      • Figure 19: Consumer concerns over cost-of-living changes, 2021
    • Summary of key economic data, 2020-26
      • Figure 20: Key economic data, 2020-26
    • Despite economic pressures, cinema’s attractive price point can still benefit from discretionary expenditure
      • Figure 21: Trends in what extra money is spent on at the end of a month, 2021
    • Consumer anxiety about indoor entertainment remains a threat
      • Figure 22: Concern about being exposed to COVID-19, 2020-21
    • Exclusivity agreements provide cinemas with first access
    • Film releases hit by COVID disruption
    • Piracy’s resurgence during the pandemic could mean cinemas stand to benefit from commitment to exclusivity window
    • COVID-19’s impact has increased the potential for local and regional cinemas to benefit from changed working patterns
  8. Market Share

    • Cineworld knocked off the top spot by COVID-19
      • Figure 23: UK cinema revenues, £m, 2019-20
    • Further increase in sites despite COVID’s impact
      • Figure 24: Major and independent cinema operators UK sites and screens, December 2021
    • Revenue segmentation
      • Figure 25: Segmentation of revenues of the leading cinema chains, 2019-20
  9. Launch Activity and Innovation

    • Odeon opens new Odeon Luxe West End
    • TikTok challenges raise the profile of new releases
    • Cinemas add safety measures to reassure audiences
    • Cinema chains expand private hire options
    • UK Cinema Association launches Accessible Screenings UK website to promote accessible screenings in the UK
    • Mobile network operators and broadband providers offer reduced cinema tickets to lure in customers
    • Free cinema tickets used to encourage healthy lifestyles
  10. Advertising and Marketing Activity

    • Advertising spend continues to suffer as a result of closures in 2021
      • Figure 26: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure for cinemas, £m, 2016/17-2020/21
    • BFI takes over the top spot in 2020/21
      • Figure 27: Total spending on above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure for cinemas, by advertiser, 2020/21
    • Adspend on film releases plummets due to COVID-19
      • Figure 28: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure for cinema film releases, 2016/17-2020/21
    • Universal Pictures bounces back in 2021
      • Figure 29: Above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure for cinema film releases of the leading advertisers in 2020/21, by advertiser, 2016/17-2020/21
    • James Bond leads on advertising spend for 2021
      • Figure 30: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure for cinema film releases, by film, 2020/21
    • Cinema closures hit advertising revenue hard
      • Figure 31: Total above-the-line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure and proportion spent on cinema advertising, 2016/17-2020/21
    • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
  11. Brand Research

    • Key brand metrics
      • Figure 32: Key metrics for selected brands, 2021
    • Brand attitudes: Odeon has a positive reputation
      • Figure 33: Attitudes, by brand, 2021
    • Brand personality: Vue is seen as a fun brand
      • Figure 34: Brand personality – Macro image, 2021
    • Cineworld is seen as impersonal
      • Figure 35: Brand personality – Micro image, 2021
    • Brand analysis
    • Odeon stands out as a heritage brand
    • Vue leads on satisfaction levels
    • Consumers are non-committal towards Cineworld
  12. Cinema Visiting

    • Cinemas feel the brunt of COVID-19 lockdowns
      • Figure 36: Cinema visiting, 2018-21
    • Cinema visiting driven by younger audiences, but signs of recovery amongst older audiences hint at longer-term recovery
      • Figure 37: Cinema visiting by generation, 2021
  13. Frequency of Visits

    • Nearly half of cinema-goers in the past year have been monthly or more
      • Figure 38: Frequency of cinema visiting, 2019 and 2021
    • Smaller cinemas attract regular repeat business
      • Figure 39: Cinema brand visited, by frequency of visitation, 2021
  14. Genres of Films Watched at the Cinema

    • Action continues to be the main attraction
    • Horror proves a tonic to pandemic’s impact
      • Figure 40: Genres of film watched at the cinema last 12 months, 2020, 2021
    • Smaller cinemas offer unique settings for musicals and romance
      • Figure 41: Brand of cinema visited, by genres of film seen at the cinema, 2021
  15. Motivations for Attending the Cinema

    • Leverage peer influence to encourage cinema visiting
    • Cinemas can utilise social channels to place consumers at the heart of the promotion
    • Cinemas will need to leverage the influencer effect
      • Figure 42: Influences to see a film at the cinema, 2021
    • Cinema influences are multi-faceted
      • Figure 43: Repertoire of influences to see a film at the cinema, 2021
  16. Attitudes towards Cinema Visiting

    • Safety first approach can help operators weather COVID-19
      • Figure 44: Appetite for vaccine passports, by regularity of cinema visit, 2021
    • Cinemas can learn from theatres use of air filtration systems
    • Audiences are hopeful of a return to the cinema in the next 12 months
      • Figure 45: Attitudes towards cinema visiting, 2021
    • Diversifying audience occasions can help cinemas rebuild
    • Merchandising opportunities could boost revenue
      • Figure 46: Attitudes towards cinema visiting, 2021
    • In cinema and digital’s ever changing landscape, dual cinema and download codes can appeal
    • Dads would be warm target for cinema and download codes
      • Figure 47: Cinemas – CHAID – Tree output, September 2021
  17. Use of Video Streaming Video Services

    • Streaming services and cinema visitors have similarities
      • Figure 48: Cinema audience attendance 2019 and streaming service subscriber levels 2021
    • Super streamers are more likely to be cinema advocates
      • Figure 49: Repertoire of streaming services subscribed to 2021
    • Cinemas can benefit from diversified content
      • Figure 50: Use of video-streaming services, 2021
    • Cinema still holds allure over the convenience of streaming, but focus on premiumisation can drive experience further
      • Figure 51: Attitudes towards cinema visiting and streamed content, 2021
  18. Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

    • Abbreviations
    • Consumer research methodology
  19. Appendix – CHAID Analysis – Cinemas – December 2021

    • Methodology
      • Figure 52: Cinemas – CHAID – Table output, 2021
  20. Appendix – Forecast Methodology

    • Market forecast and prediction intervals
      • Figure 53: Lower bound, central and upper bound forecast for cinemas, 2021-26
    • Market drivers and assumptions
      • Figure 54: Key drivers affecting Mintel’s market forecast, 2021-26
    • Forecast methodology

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

Market

Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.

Consumer

Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.

Brand/Company

Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.

Data

Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our databooks* are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

*databooks not available with UK B2B Industry reports.

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