Big Screens Drive Movie-Goer Growth, But Cable and Online Encroaching

by , Mar 22, 2010, 8:15 AM
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According to a new consumer survey conducted by Market Force Information, nearly 70% of consumers said they planned on going to the movie theatre in the first three months of 2010, and one third of those said they planned on seeing three or more movies by the end of March.

Expected Excursions to the Movie Theatre in First Quarter of 2010 (% of Respondents)

Number of Times

% of Respondents

1 or 2

47%

3 or 4

15

5 or 6

5

7 or 8

1

9 or 10

1

None

31

Source: Market Force, March 2010

One out of two respondents pointed to the experience of viewing a movie on the big screen as the reason for going to a theatre instead of watching a movie in the comfort of their own home. One third of respondents said they did not want to wait to see the latest release, and one quarter also listed that they liked going to the theatre with friends.

Reason To Choose Movie Theatre Over In-Home Viewing (% of Respondents)

Reason for Theatre

% of Respondents

Prefer the "Big Screen"

50%

Don't want to wait

32

Be with friends/social event

24

Do with date

17

The "whole experience" with no care (concessions, seating, cleanup)

17

Other

16

Source: Market Force, March 2010

These results support the emphasis that studios and exhibitors alike are placing on the overall theatre experience, from focusing on comfortable seating and clean facilities to investing in the latest in digital effects and sound quality.

People are also looking for alternative ways to watch movies on their own schedules and at a lower price, driving movie consumption even higher. In this area, the biggest growth story in movie consumption, says the report, is the explosion of kiosk movie rentals. More than four in 10 consumers reported they are using in-store or mall kiosks such as RedBox to rent the latest movie on DVD, surpassing the 36% that rent from physical stores.

Even more telling is that 26% of consumers said they will increase their use of kiosk DVD rentals, the highest percentage of any of the movie rental options. Almost one in five expect to rent less frequently from stores in the future, while online rentals such as Netflix and Blockbuster Online are being used by 27% of the consumers surveyed, and 21% said they expect that to increase.

Expectations of Movie Rental as Alternative (% of Respondents)

 

 

Planned Usage

Rental Source

% Using

Will Increase

Will Decrease

No change

Cable TV

15%

28%

11%

72%

Kiosk

41

26

10

64

Physical store

36

12

18

69

Online

27

21

10

18

Source: Market Force, March 2010

When asked what drives them to seek out a new movie, more than 70% of consumers said television ads, followed by movie trailers that they see in-theatre. Recommendations from friends and written movie reviews were also cited by three in 10 consumers.

Promotions Driving Movie Awareness

Promotion

% of Respondents

Television ads

72%

Movie previews at theatre

40

Conversation with friends

37

Movie reviews

30

Internet search

21

Newspaper/magazine ads

20

Lobby materials

9

Radio ads

9

Social media recommendations

6

Other

1

Source: Market Force, March 2010

The survey was conducted in December 2009 from the Market Force network of more than 300,000 consumers. The pool of 3,000 respondents ranged in age from 19-72 and reflected a broad spectrum of income levels, with approximately half reporting incomes of more than $50,000 a year. Approximately 75% were women, the primary household consumer purchasers. Half had children at home.

For additional information, please see the Market Force presentation here.

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