As Theaters Reopen, Confidence in Moviegoing Grows and Safety Measures Are a Must According to New Atom Tickets Survey
Contactless Trend Extends to Movie Theaters, As Spaced-Seating, Mask Wearing and Digital Ticketing Remains Critical
Atom Tickets announced the results of a new “Return to Moviegoing” survey as a follow-up to the company’s May 2020 survey of the same name that tells a good story for the movie industry in the wake of the pandemic. The survey issued on August 17 received over 16,000 U.S. digital moviegoer responses and revealed that 74% are ready to return to theaters within one month and 40% said they are ready to return to theaters immediately, up from 59% and 25% respectively. On the flipside, only 0.8% said they never plan to return to theaters and 15% said they would wait until there is a vaccine for the coronavirus, down from 21% in May.
When asked to identify the most important safety measure to make them feel confident about going back to a movie theater, having spaced seating in the theater auditorium remains the most critical safety feature with 34% saying this was a key condition. The next most critical safety measure noted by moviegoers is staff and guests wearing masks at 30%, more than doubling in importance from Atom’s May survey (14%) and rising in importance over heightened theater cleaning procedures at 13% (down from 21% in May). Of note, 85% of August moviegoers surveyed said that they plan on wearing a mask even if it is not required by the theater or local government.
The contactless trend that’s surging in the food and retail industries continues to be top-of-mind for moviegoers. 87% of moviegoers surveyed in August said that purchasing digital tickets from their own device and eliminating the need to interact with a cashier is an important safety measure, relatively flat with May findings (88%). Concessions may also look different in a post-COVID world, with customers leaning into ordering ahead and picking up their items instead of waiting in lines and being served directly over the counter. Of those who have never pre-ordered movie theater concessions, 68% said they are now likely to try it (up from 61% in May). Amongst those that have previously preordered their movie snacks, 90% say they would do it again.
“We’re encouraged by this new survey and believe it’s a good sign for the movie industry. Our data also showed that eagerness to return to the movies has more to do with how often you went to the movies before the pandemic rather than by age or region,” said Matthew Bakal, chairman and co-founder of Atom Tickets. “I’m pleased to see the heightened interest in safety measures including pre-ordering tickets and concessions. We know people want to enjoy the movies together with friends and family and will do so responsibly.”
The survey also revealed new films will get most moviegoers to return to the big screen. 49% of those surveyed said they would rather wait for new movies to be released before returning vs. 35% who said they would return to cinemas to see re-releases of classic movies. Also according to the survey, the 2020 films that moviegoers are most excited to see on the big screen are “Black Widow”, “Wonder Woman 1984”, and “James Bond: No Time to Die”. For 2021, moviegoers are already eager to see “The Eternals” from Marvel Studios, “The Batman”, and “Jurassic World: Dominion”.
Movie theaters across the country have been temporarily closed since March due to COVID-19 and during this time theaters have created and implemented new safety and cleaning policies to instill confidence in moviegoers when they decide to return. Atom is making it even easier for moviegoers to feel safe returning to theaters by launching new buffered seating maps and Safety Guidelines on their app and website.
About Atom Tickets
Atom Tickets is the award-winning social movie ticketing app. The Santa Monica-based company was named in the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies and is certified as a Great Place To Work. Atom Tickets is backed by Lionsgate, Disney, and Fidelity Management & Research Company. Atom allows consumers to search for films instantly, invite friends, buy tickets, pre-order concessions and more.