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The Pulse: Watching Movies

December 21, 2022

Last fall, as the COVID-19 pandemic kept people at home, we asked 1000 US Adults about their attitudes towards going to movie theaters.

We found that younger Americans were still willing to go to the movies and that all Americans enjoyed having more options (i.e., watching from home) for watching the latest movies. This month, we revisited the topic of movie theaters and consumers’ attitudes toward them.

Our first question was a simple one. We asked whether consumers would be willing to go to the movie theaters in the next week. 

Gen Z (+9%), Gen X (+14%), and Baby Boomers (+12%) all saw significant increases in willingness to see a movie today vs 2021. Millennials did not see a significant decrease year over year, but they were also the most willing to see a movie in a theater in 2021. US Adults overall saw a +9% increase in willingness to go to a movie in the next week.


Opinions on how to watch a new movie did not change much year over year. 

31% of US Adults said they would be most interested in going to the movies for the next new movie that they wanted to see. 16% said they would prefer to pay to stream at home and 53% said they would wait and stream for free through one of their subscriptions.


The genres of movies that US Adults were willing to travel to the theaters for changed year over year.

The likeliness to see a Comedy increased by +7% since last year and Romance and Drama both increased by +6%.


A new question that we asked this year was when consumers last saw a movie in a theater. 

69% of US Adults said that they have seen a movie in a theater since the pandemic. This number was highest among Gen Z with 86% having seen a movie in a theater since the pandemic began.


This year we also asked which streaming service US Adults think has the best movies.

This question was only asked for streaming services that the consumer subscribed to. Netflix was the clear winner with 66% saying that it had the best movies. HBO Max was second with 50% and Disney+ was in third with 44%.

We found that 59% of US Adults agree that going to the theater to see a movie is too expensive for them and 55% of US Adults agreed that seeing a movie in a theater is an overall better experience than watching at home.

And finally, we found that 43% of US Adults say that they plan on going to the movie theater at least once during this holiday season.


This CARAVAN survey was conducted by Big Village among a sample of 1,006 adults 18 years of age and older. The online omnibus study is conducted three times a week among a demographically representative U.S. sample of 1,000 adults 18 years of age and older. This survey was live on December 2-4, 2022.

Learn more about our Online CARAVAN® omnibus surveys here. Contact us at for more information.