In June, we polled our readers about when they would be likely to return to theaters. A total of 72.7% said they would wait at least three months, and an additional 6% said they would never go back.
Half a year on, the mood doesn’t seem to have changed. Deloitte polled U.S. consumers on the subject as part of its Digital Media Trends 14th edition fall pulse survey, and its findings aren’t very different from our informal polling. Here are the key points from the survey:
- Few Americans have been to a theater in the Covid era. The survey found that only 18% of consumers have visited one since the pandemic began.
- And most don’t want to visit one anytime soon. In all, 71% of respondents said they wouldn’t be comfortable doing so in the next month even if they could; just over half said the same about the next six months.
- Even after the pandemic, new U.S. releases could find a bigger audience at home than in cinemas. While 35% of respondents said their preference would definitely or probably be to see new movies in the theater, 44% said the same about home viewing.
- Streaming subscribers want lower costs and exclusive content. Of all the reasons why they would stay subscribed, the most commonly cited were: being able to switch to a cheaper, ad-supported version of the service (28%) and receiving exclusive movie or tv content (27%).
The survey involved 1,100 U.S. consumers, and was conducted in October 2020 by the Deloitte Center for Technology, Media & Telecommunications — before Warnermedia’s stunning announcement that it would send Warner Bros.’s entire 2021 slate of features simultaneously to theaters and streaming platform HBO Max in the U.S. (and possibly elsewhere).