Survey reveals increased interest in watching movies

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A new survey by customer-intelligence firm Market Force Information reveals good news for the entertainment industry: About one in five consumers expect to watch more movies (in all media) in 2011, while just 8% of respondents said they will view fewer films this year.

The movie consumption survey also found a change in the reasons why consumers go to the theatre to watch a movie. In 2009, 32% said they would see a movie in the cinema because they did not want to wait, but that percentage dipped to 25% in 2010. This shift is likely due to the proliferation of movies available for instant download shortly after they are released.

“Despite this shift, studios and theatres don’t need to feel threatened, because our research also shows that most consumers like to go to the theatre for the experience of watching a movie on the big screen, complete with surround sound and real-life picture quality,” said Janet Eden-Harris, chief marketing officer for Market Force. “The rise of 3D movies is also drawing consumers to theatre seats.”

As kiosks become even more prevalent and convenient, consumers are flocking to them for their DVD and Blu-Ray rentals. When asked which ways they see movies aside from in the theatre, almost half of respondents—44%—reported renting movies from kiosks such as Redbox and DVDPlay. One-third said they download movies online. While both kiosks and downloads have grown over the past year, consumers report renting less frequently from physical stores. In fact, only one in four consumers said that they go to a store to rent movies, down 11% from just a year ago.

The survey also found major shifts in the ways consumers learn about new movies. In a Market Force survey conducted in December 2009, TV ads dominated, with more than seven out of 10 (72%) consumers reporting that they learned about new movies from TV ads. One year later, that percentage dropped to 62%—they are still the leading source, but much less dominant as consumers migrate to different sources for their entertainment information. Meanwhile, movie previews and reviews are playing an increasingly important role as movie information sources, growing over the past year to 47% and 41%, respectively.

The survey was conducted in December 2010 across the United States and Canada. The pool of 3,200 respondents reflected a broad spectrum of income levels, with approximately 70% reporting household incomes of more than $50,000 a year. Respondents’ ages ranged from 19 to 70. Approximately three-quarters of respondents were women—the primary household consumer purchasers—and an equal percentage work full or part-time. Half of the respondents have children at home and two-thirds are married.

Market Force Information, Inc. is a leading global customer-intelligence solutions company for business-to-consumer companies including major retailers, restaurants, grocery and convenience stores, financial institutions, entertainment studios and consumer packaged-goods companies. For more information, visit www.marketforce.com or follow them on Twitter @MarketForce.