People Generally Prefer Watching Movies At Home Than in the Theater

March 2, 2023

This article is included in these additional categories:

Industries | Media & Entertainment

US box office revenues are expected to surpass pre-pandemic levels this year, but the cinema experience is under threat. More people seem happy to pay to stream new movies at home, and new research [download page] from The Harris Poll indicates that preferences in general seem to lie with movie-watching at home rather than in the theater.

Indeed, 77% of respondents to the survey either strongly (38%) or somewhat (39%) agreed with the statement “In general, I prefer watching movies at home over watching in the theater.” Just 6% strongly disagreed.

However, survey participants admit that some genres are better experienced in the theater, with almost 8 in 10 (78%) agreeing with this. Among this group, the main consensus is that action-adventure movies are best to watch in the theater rather than at home, with 58% citing this genre. By contrast, fewer than half said that thrillers (39%), science fiction (37%), horror (34%) and fantasy (29%) movies were best experienced in the theater.

Among the US adults surveyed overall, reasons to watch a movie in the theater include enjoying the overall movie theater experience (38%), the movie quality (37%), specialized viewing experiences such as IMAX, 3D (32%), and the theater ambiance (28%).

Combatting those motivations, though, is a simple turnoff: price. In fact, 3 in 4 (74% of) adults agree that watching a movie in the theater is too expensive for them to do frequently. As such, one-quarter might choose to watch a movie in the theater if there were discounts available to them.

For more, check out the report here.

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 1,050 US adults (18+).


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