Confidence of moviegoers to return to theaters during Covid hits record high – Deadline

EXCLUSIVE: Even though the domestic box office remains in a funk situation due to the pandemic, moviegoer confidence has reached a record high of nearly 50%, according to recent data from NRG. The recent optimistic attitude of returning to the cinema has overtaken the results of the fall polls, which was the last time confidence was at a noticeable level during Covid.

Before the September to November period, the last time moviegoers’ confidence levels were “very or somewhat comfortable” about being in theaters was March 15-16, just before they closed. the big exposure due to the Covid-19 safety guidelines.


According to exhibition reports, 47% of the 5,900 US / Canadian theaters are open. The most open states are Mississippi and Utah (both 80%), Arizona (77%), Alabama (70%) and Georgia (70%).

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New York City remains in limbo over reopening theaters despite the state’s green light to open the doors to limited-capacity sports arenas.

California is looking up, Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to announce additional openings on February 23. Already, six rural counties in northern California are turning on movie theater lights. These are Alpine, Del Norte, Mariposa, Plumas, Sierra and Trinity. Winter storms did not help exhibitors already shattered last weekend, which totaled $ 12.6 million from the 4-day box office of Presidents Day, down 92% from a year ago a year. Sonic the hedgehog led the vacation framework by Comscore. The national BO from Jan.1 to Monday Feb.15 totaled $ 98.2 million, down 92% from the same period a year ago.

“Tom and Jerry”
Photos of Warner Bros.

This weekend, there are no new full-scale releases, and Searchlight Pictures is not reporting any box office or venue on its awards contender. Nomadland. The photo has been out for two weeks in PLF and Imax, and is expanding to Hulu and other theaters today. Warner Bros. ‘ Tom and Jerry hits theaters and HBO Max next weekend.


NRG reports that the comfort of returning to the cinema is highest among adolescents (60%) and men under 25 (62%), with women over 25 being the least comfortable returning to the cinema. cinema (40%). Men over 25 have a confidence level of 49% and women under 25 have a confidence level of 50%. Overall, 82% of moviegoers say they expect to be “very or somewhat comfortable” once the vaccine becomes widely available. This is the highest number NRG has seen to this extent to date. Even after the vaccine is widely available, moviegoers still want safety measures in place (e.g. masking, distancing, etc.).

Once the vaccine is fully applied, all the demos jump in confidence in their anticipation of returning to the cinema with men under 25 (83%), men over 25 (84%), women from under 25 (85%) and women over 25 (77%). There also continues to be a political divide, with conservatives more comfortable coming back than liberals according to the body of analysis.

During the week of February 8, 53% of NRG respondents said they rated movie theaters as ‘very or fairly safe’, which is also the highest perception the organization has seen since mid-November, one point before dining in the dining room (52%) and six points above attending a religious service in the dining room (47%).

Godzilla vs. Kong
Warner bros

Another encouraging sign for the major studios and exhibitors: 60% of those questioned said they expected to see a film in theaters in the next three months, the highest level this figure has reached since mid-November; dropping as low to 51% as on January 25. As more and more films hit the marquee in the coming weeks, Raya and the last dragon, Tom and Jerry and Godzilla vs. Kong, poll numbers should improve.

NRG has frequently interviewed moviegoers more than three times a week since the start of the Covid crisis. A frequent moviegoer is defined as someone who attends once a month.

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