While there have been more generalised surveys about this, a new analysis poll conducted by Edward Norton’s digital polling analytics company EDO has directly asked the question exhibitors want to know – are people likely to return to cinemas whenever they are back open for business?
Using a large sample of 6,800 participants, the poll conducted last week discovered that more than 70% of those polled said they were likely to head back to movie theaters. Of that group, 45% of them added they were ‘highly likely’ to get back in front of the big screen.
Of that group, 20% say they’ll be there right at opening, 24% said they would wait a few days, 45% say they will wait a few weeks, and 11% say they would wait several months.
With cinemas closed, around 75% of those in the study say they are likely to purchase movies on-demand with close to half said they were purchasing existing movies on-demand from digital providers like Amazon, iTunes and YouTube.
85% of those polled say their at-home TV and movie consumption had increased, with almost half stating that their consumption grew by 50% or more.
Of SVOD services purchased since COVID-19 began, Disney+ came out on top with 29% of respondees picking up a subscription. Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix, HBO Now, Starz and Showtime were the next big winners.
The report comes as the National Association of Theatre Owners, as part of a webinar today (via Indiewire, has stayed bullish on the industry’s prospects with VP Patrick Corcoran saying he expects cinemas to begin to reopen by late May or early June and ramp up to regular business by July.
NATO president John Fithian says “we anticipate when we first open cinemas back up anywhere in the world, we’ll have social distancing” which will include the 50% auditorium capacity rule. They’ll also have “very intense cleaning procedures and anything else the health officials recommend… We essentially need to go through the period where the government is confirming that the threat has been abated.”