Most people polled in a survey said they would return to movie theaters after they reopen, but that they wouldn't for at least a few weeks.
- Most movie theaters in the US have shut down to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
- Analytics company EDO surveyed 6,809 moviegoers in the US and found that most were likely to return to theaters once they reopened.
- But 45% of respondents said they would wait "a few weeks" to return after they reopen and another 10% said they would wait "several months."
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Movie theaters across the US have shut down to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, but will likely see a comeback.
Analytics company EDO surveyed 6,809 people in the US from March 24 to March 28 and released the results on Wednesday (the survey was conducted through a third-party company with a national panel of moviegoers). They suggest that audiences will return to movie theaters when they reopen — but not immediately.
45% of those surveyed said they were "highly likely" to see a movie at a theater once they reopened and nearly 30% said they were "somewhat likely." Just under 20% said they were unsure. (59% of those surveyed said they were "highly concerned" about the coronavirus.)
This bodes well for the return of movie theaters, but it won't be an immediate rebound, the survey suggests.
About 45% of those surveyed said that they would wait "a few weeks" after theaters reopened to go to one and just over 10% said they would wait "several months," meaning more than half of the respondents would wait at least a few weeks to return to a theater (20% said they would immediately return).
The theater closures have prompted studios to release movies early on premium video-on-demand services. The movies, from "The Invisible Man" to "Bloodshot," have been popular on these platforms, but it's a temporary solution to the current situation.
"The measures being taken right now are because of the unforeseen circumstances," said Paul Dergarabedian, the Comscore senor media analyst. "And consumers have an appetite for new content. We are literally stuck at home."
The domestic box office will need all the help it can get once theaters reopen. It earned $1.8 billion in the first two and a half months of the year compared to $2.1 billion in the same time period last year. This year was buoyed by unexpected hits "Bad Boys for Life" and "Sonic the Hedgehog" before theaters closed.