When it comes to going to the movies, consumer habits will not return to pre-pandemic norms for a very long time, if at all.
New data from Savanta shows most Americans (51%) are not sure when they will return to a movie theater. They are enjoying movies from home and have little plans to change their new behavior.
New York, January 5, 2021: The rise of streaming movie services and fears related to the COVID-19 pandemic have shifted Americans’ desire to go to movie theaters. This is a remarkable shift in consumer behavior; for over 100 years, going to the movies on a date or with friends was considered a cherished American pastime.
New data from Savanta shows most Americans (51%) are not sure when they will return to a movie theater. They are enjoying movies from home and have little plans to change their new behavior. Savanta reports that 67% of American consumers plan to watch recently released films at home once the pandemic passes. Only 12% of American consumers plan to watch new releases at the theater when COVID-19 is over.
On Christmas day, movie streaming services released eight new movies. Watching new releases such as Wonder Woman and Soul from home proved to be a comfortable and safe choice for many Americans. These new releases were free with existing subscriptions to HBO Max or Disney+ respectively so viewer data is unclear. While the cost of new monthly subscription fees often covers the expense of new releases, Americans are still willing to pay extra to watch new releases from home. Savanta reports that 50% of Americans are likely to pay extra to watch a new release on a streaming platform, while 32% remain unwilling.
Americans will pay a fair price to watch a new release from home
Americans are willing to pay an average of $14 to watch a recently released movie on a streaming platform. Most (46%) prefer to spend under $10 for a new release, but 30% are willing to pay between $10-$19 on a streaming platform. 15% of Americans would pay between $20-30 for a new film, while only 8% would pay more than $31. It’s clear that Americans are more than willing to pay a movie studio to watch a film from home.
The reality is that movie theaters in America won’t return to normal until audiences are ready and willing to return. While this is sure to disappoint theater owners, this apparent shift in consumer behavior presents a significant opportunity for competing streaming services.