What Might Get Youth into the Movie Theater?

August 31, 2021

MorningConsult Why Gen Z Would Watch Movie at Cinema Aug2021Cinema has had a far-from-stellar couple of years, with US box office takings in both 2020 and 2021 well below 2019. And any recovery will not be helped by findings from a survey from Morning Consult revealing that only two-fifths (42%) of Gen Zers plan to go to the movies more following the pandemic.

The survey of more than 1,000 Gen Z (ages 13-24) identifies several reasons why Gen Z consumers would choose not to go to the cinema. Cost seems to play a significant role, with 72% saying that tickets are too expensive and 70% saying food options are too expensive.

Another reason prevalent among this age group is the idea that they can now stream new theatrical releases at home. Some 7 in 10 say they can watch the same movies at home via streaming, with 41% citing it as a major reason for choosing not to see a movie in theaters. Others are not interested in the movies playing in theaters (57%) or don’t want to deal with other theater-goers (55%).

There are some factors, however, that would drive more Gen Z into cinemas. About two-thirds say that a variety of movie offerings would be a major (36%) or minor (29%) reason for doing so, while 63% say premium screen formats such as IMAX or 3D would be a reason. Inexpensive ticket costs on certain days or times (62%) and a variety of seating (63%) or food (58%) options were other common reasons for choosing to see a movie in theaters.

With price being a deterrent to seeing a movie in a theater, enticements such as discount movie tickets (78%), offers for free movie tickets (76%), free screenings of new films (74%) and free concession items (74%) are promotions that would encourage Gen Zers to visit a movie theater more often.

It is worth noting that despite the pandemic being the key reason for cinemas seeing box office takings plummet, the survey has not included COVID-19 measures as options for Gen Z visiting or not visiting the movie theaters.

About the Data: Findings are based on a July 2021 survey of 1,018 members of Generation Z, ages 13-24.

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