Americans went to about 5 movies on average last year, details Harris Interactive in newly-released survey results. There appears to be a strong age-related trend in moviegoing: Echo Boomers (18-36) were almost twice as likely as Matures (68+) to have gone to the movies (83% vs. 44%), attending about twice as many movies on average (6.3 vs. 3.2). A majority of respondents of all ages prefer watching movies at home rather than in the theater, and two-thirds agree that they are going to the movies less often now than they did a few years ago. That trend holds true even among the 1 in 5 adults who prefer to see movies in a theater: 53% of this group say they’re going less now than they used to.
While respondents believe that the best part of going to the movies is the sound and picture quality of the movie on the big screen, the main factors that drive them to go see a movie are: the involvement of a favorite actor or actress (32%); good word of mouth (32%); and it being a sequel or part of a beloved series (30%).
Concession prices and rude moviegoers are easily the top complaints about going to the movies, followed in a distant third by the ads that run before the previews. (Marketers intend to spend more on those ads, according to a recent forecast from PricewaterhouseCoopers.)
Given that most adults prefer to watch movies at home, the Harris poll takes a more in-depth look at the most popular ways in which to do so. The most common ways in which adults consume movies are over the air (67%) – primarily live on TV – and on DVD or Blu-ray (64%). Roughly 4 in 10 also watch movies on-demand (being twice as likely to watch free movies rather than pay-per-views), and 37% watch digital/streaming movies.
Only 1 in 10 watch digital/streaming movies that they own. But, these adults appear to be part of a growing crowd; Digital Entertainment Group recently reported [pdf] that digital movie sales grew by 47% year-over-year in 2013.
About the Data: This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States December 11 and 17, 2013 among 2,311 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.