According to an exclusive new study reported by Variety, anxiety over health and safety in public spaces still greatly outweighs the desire to leave home, and that disparity has only gotten larger as the pandemic has unfolded. The results of a survey of roughly 1,000 people in mid-May by sports and events analytics firm Performance Research, in partnership with Full Circle Research Co. shows the long road the entertainment industry has in front of it to win back public perception that it’s safe again to attend and spend money on public events. No less than 70% would rather watch new movies at home than in a movie theater.
Take this answer to the question of whether respondents would rather see a first-run feature as a digital rental at home or in a movie theater, if both were available today: A whopping 70% say they are more likely to watch from their couch, while just 13% say they are more likely to watch at a local cinema (with 17% not sure).
Across just about every major industry sector, respondents have grown more fearful about stepping into public spaces: 39% say they’ll attend major indoor concerts less often, up from 33% in March; 36% say they’ll attend theme parks less often, up from 26%; and 33% say they’ll attend theater and performing arts venues less often, up from 29%.
For Broadway productions, a new line of inquiry in the May study, the news is especially worrying: 51% of respondents say it will take a few months before they will attend a Broadway show in New York even after it’s deemed safe to do so, and 16% say they may never go again.
The news for movie theaters is scarcely any better: 37% of respondents say they plan to attend less often, up from 28% in March, and 10% say they may never go again, up from 6%.
MacDailyNews Take: While it’s nice to have a study to put some numbers on it, the general gist was obvious.
A) $19.99 for a first-run movie in the comfort of your own house on a large screen, with controllable audio volume (even closed captioning if you desire), with the entire family and your own all-you-can-eat popcorn, candy, and drinks for under $10 total for everyone
B) At least $80.00 for a family of four with criminally-overpriced often-stale popcorn, candy, and drinks at a potentially COVID-encrusted theater packed with uncouth idiots from who-knows-where talking, eating, coughing, sneezing, crunching bags, looking their phones, getting up to go to the bathroom, etc.
It’s such a difficult choice!
The $10 bucket of 10-cents worth of popcorn and the $6 cup of 6-cents worth of soda are obvious clues that theatre owners don’t have a sustainable business model.
Bottom line: It took a global pandemic to wake up Hollywood and drag it kicking and screaming into the new millennium at least a decade late. We’re sure Steve Jobs was telling Hollywood honchos this would happen long ago. — MacDailyNews, April 28, 2020
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]