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Silver Screen Slumps

Harris Interactive announced its latest survey reports that, among other things, Americans say they’re going to the movies less often than a few years ago.

For more information visit: www.harrisinteractive.com


Unedited press release follows:

The Silver Screen Slump: Americans Say They’re Going to the Movies Less Often

U.S. adults reflect on the best and worst parts of going to the movies; 7 in 10 see 3D movies as an excuse to charge more

NEW YORK, Jan. 10, 2014 — Going out to the movies once was, and for many still can be, an exciting night out. However, a new Harris Poll finds that while roughly two-thirds (68%) of U.S. adults went to the movies at least once in 2013, just about the same percent (66%) say they’re going to the movies less often now than a few years ago.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,311 adults surveyed online between December 11 and 17, 2013 by Harris Interactive. (Full results, including data tables, can be found here)

Americans report going to an average of five movies in 2013, but likelihood to have gone to at least one goes down as age goes up (83% Echo Boomers, 73% Gen Xers, 59% Baby Boomers, 44% Matures). When asked whether they prefer watching movies at home or in a theater, or no preference, the majority say they prefer watching at home (57% total), while only two in ten (21%) prefer watching in a theater.

When asked to choose the main factors which drive them to see a movie in a theater, Americans’ top selections include featuring a favorite actor or actress (32% among total Americans, 54% among those who prefer watching movies in a theater). A companion Harris Poll released today unveils Golden Globe nominee Tom Hanks as America’s favorite movie star, while fellow nominee and Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence debuts on the list in the number three spot. Fan favorite Denzel Washington ranks second, dropping from his top spot on last year’s list.

Best and worst aspects of a night at the movies
When questioned about the best and worst things about going to the movies, there are a couple of clear frontrunners for each side of things:

• When asked to select the one or two best things about going to the movies, nearly six in ten Americans selected the sound and picture quality of a movie on the big screen (58%), while nearly half (45%) cited the experience being a short escape from everyday life.

• Of course, if one counts high prices or rude people among the stresses of everyday life, then a night at the movies may not be quite the escape it’s cracked up to be: concession prices (62%) and rude moviegoers (56%) are the top selections – by a wide margin – as the worst things about going to the movies.

Cost has some additional implications on the movie going experience: seven in ten Americans (69%) believe 3D movies are just an excuse to charge more for tickets and nearly six in ten (58%) say they have snuck food into the movies.

• Echo boomers are most likely to have snuck in food, while matures are least likely to have done so (69% Echo Boomers, 57% Gen Xers, 57% Baby Boomers, 36% Matures).

• Additionally, women (61%) are more likely than men (54%) to have done so.

Two tickets, please
Good word of mouth tied with favorite performer as a top reason people go to see a movie in the theater (32% among total Americans, 48% among those who prefer watching movies in a theater), followed by the movie being a sequel to or part of series that they love (30% and 45%, respectively), special effects (29% and 47%, respectively) and the overall theater experience (29% among total Americans, while at 59% this was the top driver among those who prefer to watch movies in a theater).

As for who they go to the movies with, movie night and date night appear to have a great deal of common ground, as spouse/significant other (55%) is the most-cited theatergoing company, followed by friends (32%) and children (21% among total, 51% among those with children in their household).

• Women are more likely than men to go to the movies with friends (35% women, 29% men), children (25% women, 17% men) and siblings (12% women, 9% men).

• Men, meanwhile, are more likely than women to go to the movies by themselves (19% men, 13% women).

Home movies
In a separate line of questioning, Americans were asked about what the main ways are in which they watch movies at home, and while one advantage of watching at home is the convenience of watching what you want when you want to, watching live on TV is the top way of watching (60%), followed by:

• Owned (47%) and rented (37%) DVD’s and Blu-rays

• On demand movies provided as part of a cable or satellite package (32%)

• Through a subscription streaming service (31%)

• Saved from a TV broadcast on a DVR or other recording device (28%)

To see other recent Harris Polls, please visit the Harris Poll News Room.

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TABLE 1

NUMBER OF TIMES WENT TO THE MOVIES THIS YEAR

By Generation, Gender & Parental Status

“Approximately how many times have you gone to the movies this year? If you don’t know, please give your best guess.”

Base: U.S. Adults

Went to ANY (%)

Went to 10+ (%)

Mean # Attended

All Adults

68

17

4.8

Generation

Echo Boomers (18-36)

83

24

6.3

Gen Xers (37-48)

73

21

5.3

Baby Boomers (49-67)

59

11

3.6

Matures (68+)

44

9

3.2

Gender

Male

70

20

5.5

Female

66

14

4.1

Child(ren) in Household

Yes

80

20

5.3

No

62

16

4.5

TABLE 2

MOVIE WATCHING PREFERENCE (THEATER VS. HOME)

By Generation, Gender & Parental Status

“Do you prefer watching movies in a theater or at home?”

Base: U.S. Adults

At Home

In a Theater

No Preference

NA – I don’t watch movies

All Adults

%

57

21

19

4

Generation

Echo Boomers (18-36)

%

52

26

20

2

Gen Xers (37-48)

%

56

19

21

3

Baby Boomers (49-67)

%

60

19

17

4

Matures (68+)

%

60

12

17

10

Gender

Male

%

53

24

20

3

Female

%

60

17

18

4

Child(ren) in Household

Yes

%

54

23

21

1

No

%

58

19

18

5

Note: Percentages may not add up to exactly 100% due to rounding.


TABLE 3

MAIN WAYS WATCH MOVIES AT HOME

By Generation & Gender

“Which of the following are the main ways you watch movies at home? Please select all that apply.”

Base: U.S. Adults

Total

Generation

Gender

Echo Boomers (18-36)

Gen Xers (37-48)

Baby Boomers (49-67)

Matures (68+)

Male

Female

%

%

%

%

%

Over air (NET)

67

56

69

72

75

70

65

Watch live on TV

60

52

59

64

71

63

58

Saved from TV broadcast (e.g., DVR or other recording device)

28

23

34

31

25

31

26

DVD or Blu-ray (NET)

64

75

68

61

40

65

63

DVD or Blu-ray that I own

47

58

51

42

25

50

45

Rent a DVD or Blu-ray

37

50

38

31

21

38

36

Borrow a DVD or Blu-ray from the library

15

17

16

15

10

15

15

On demand (NET)

39

39

42

41

31

41

38

Provided as part of my cable/satellite provider’s on demand service (no extra charge)

32

29

34

35

29

33

31

Pay a fee to watch on demand through my cable/satellite provider (i.e., Pay-Per-View)

17

19

22

16

10

18

17

Digital/Streaming (NET)

37

52

43

26

16

37

36

Through a subscription streaming service (e.g., Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime)

31

43

37

23

14

31

31

Digital/streaming rental (e.g., rent through iTunes store or Amazon Instant Video store)

12

18

16

7

3

13

11

Digital/streaming movie that I own (e.g., purchased through iTunes store or Amazon Instant Video store)

9

16

9

4

2

11

6

Something else

6

9

9

3

4

7

6

NA – I don’t watch movies at home

4

3

2

4

10

4

4

Note: Multiple responses allowed.

 

TABLE 4

MAIN FACTORS THAT DRIVE YOU TO SEE A MOVIE IN A THEATER

By Viewing Preference, Generation & Gender

“What are the main factors that ever drive you to see a movie in a theater? Please select all that apply.”

Base: U.S. Adults

Total

Prefer Watching in a Theater

Generation

Gender

Echo Boomers (18-36)

Gen Xers (37-48)

Baby Boomers (49-67)

Matures (68+)

Male

Female

%

%

%

%

%

%

Has one of my favorite actors/actresses

32

54

38

35

29

24

30

35

Good word of mouth

32

48

38

31

28

29

31

33

It’s a sequel or part of a series I love

30

45

42

33

23

12

28

31

Special effects (i.e., “Better on the big screen”)

29

47

32

33

28

17

29

28

The overall theater experience

29

59

35

33

26

14

32

26

It’s my favorite genre

23

40

26

24

23

12

25

21

It’s based on a favorite book or comic

20

37

32

20

14

9

20

20

It’s by a director I like

11

22

17

11

7

3

13

8

Awards season buzz

8

17

12

7

6

5

8

8

Something else

16

13

17

16

16

11

15

16

NA – I don’t go to the movies

22

1

11

16

28

45

23

22

Note: Multiple responses allowed.


TABLE 5

BEST THINGS ABOUT GOING TO THE MOVIES

By Viewing Preference, Generation & Gender

“What are the best things about going to the movies? Please select up to 2 responses. Even if you don’t go to the movies currently, we’re interested in your opinion based on past experiences.”

Base: U.S. Adults

Total

Prefer Watching in a Theater

Generation

Gender

Echo Boomers (18-36)

Gen Xers (37-48)

Baby Boomers (49-67)

Matures (68+)

Male

Female

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

The sound and picture quality of a movie on the big screen

58

69

57

61

60

53

59

57

A short escape from everyday life

45

53

47

45

47

37

44

46

Having treats like popcorn and candy

17

20

23

19

15

8

18

17

Previews for upcoming films

12

16

20

12

8

4

12

12

The excitement of seeing a movie with a big crowd

7

13

13

5

6

1

8

6

Something else

8

6

8

7

7

8

8

7

Nothing

15

3

9

13

17

31

16

15

Note: Multiple responses allowed.

TABLE 6

WORST THINGS ABOUT GOING TO THE MOVIES

By Viewing Preference, Generation & Gender

“And what are the worst things about going to the movies? Please select up to 2 responses. Even if you don’t go to the movies currently, we’re interested in your opinion based on past experiences.”

Base: U.S. Adults

Total

Prefer Watching in a Theater

Generation

Gender

Echo Boomers (18-36)

Gen Xers (37-48)

Baby Boomers (49-67)

Matures (68+)

Male

Female

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Concession prices

62

62

64

63

63

52

61

63

Rude moviegoers (e.g., talking loudly, texting/using phones, kicking seats)

56

52

57

53

60

50

56

57

Advertisements that run before the previews

17

19

13

16

16

29

18

16

Missing what happens when I have to go to the bathroom

14

19

20

14

11

8

14

14

Figuring out how to fit it into my schedule

10

13

11

12

8

7

10

9

Something else

9

5

6

8

10

10

8

9

Nothing

9

5

8

8

8

12

9

8

Note: Multiple responses allowed.


TABLE 7

WHO TYPICALLY GO TO THE MOVIES WITH

By Children in HH, Generation & Gender

“Who do you typically go to the movies with? Please select all that apply.”

Base: U.S. Adults

Total

Children in HH

Generation

Gender

Echo Boomers (18-36)

Gen Xers (37-48)

Baby Boomers (49-67)

Matures (68+)

Male

Female

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Spouse/significant other

55

68

62

59

54

34

55

55

Friends

32

32

51

23

22

28

29

35

Children

21

51

16

40

20

8

17

25

Siblings

11

13

22

7

6

4

9

12

Parents

8

8

18

8

1

1

7

8

By myself

16

11

15

19

16

11

19

13

NA – I don’t go to the movies

16

6

6

12

19

38

16

15

Note: Multiple responses allowed.

TABLE 8a

AGREE/DISAGREE WITH MOVIE STATEMENTS – Summary Table

“How strongly do you agree or disagree with the following statements?”

Base: U.S. Adults

Agree (NET)

Strongly agree

Somewhat agree

Disagree (NET)

Somewhat disagree

Strongly disagree

I think 3D movies are just an excuse to charge more for tickets.

%

69

34

36

31

20

10

I am going to the movies less often now than a few years ago.

%

66

41

25

34

18

16

I have snuck food into the movies.

%

58

33

25

42

10

32

There are movies coming out in the next few months that I’m excited to see in a theater.

%

56

23

33

44

19

25

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

TABLE 8b

AGREE WITH MOVIE STATEMENTS

“Agree” Summary by Viewing Preference, Generation & Gender

“How strongly do you agree or disagree with the following statements?”

Base: U.S. Adults

Total

Prefer Watching in a Theater

Generation

Gender

Echo Boomers (18-36)

Gen Xers (37-48)

Baby Boomers (49-67)

Matures (68+)

Male

Female

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

I think 3D movies are just an excuse to charge more for tickets.

69

67

67

71

71

68

67

71

I am going to the movies less often now than a few years ago.

66

53

67

59

66

74

61

70

I have snuck food into the movies.

58

65

69

57

57

36

54

61

There are movies coming out in the next few months that I’m excited to see in a theater.

56

86

67

58

51

38

54

58

Note: Multiple responses allowed.

Methodology
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.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

J43569
Q905, 910, 915, 920, 925, 930, 935, 940

The Harris Poll® #2, January 10, 2014
By Larry Shannon-Missal, Harris Poll Research Manager

About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for The Harris Poll®, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research across a wide range of industries. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing a client’s research investment. Serving clients worldwide through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help our clients stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

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