Movie Theaters Closer To Pre-Pandemic Attendance Levels This Summer
Though still impacted by lingering pandemic fears and the uncertain state of the economy, visits to movie theaters are closer to pre-pandemic levels than any time this year, according to Placer.ai data.
Compared with the same month in 2019, visits to Cinemark, Regal Cinemas and AMC Theatres — the three largest U.S. chains — were down by 4.1%, 15.5% and 24.9%, respectively, in June, the smallest monthly visit gap so far in 2022, Placer.ai reported.
By contrast, in January, movie theater visits were down as much as nearly 50% for Regal Cinemas and AMC and off by about 30% for Cinemark when compared with the same month in 2019.
Though more people streamed movies at home during the pandemic than ever before and are still doing so, Placer.ai said that for many viewers, home viewing seemingly hasn’t replaced the experience of going out to a movie. And despite inflation, which is driving up ticket prices, consumers seem eager to return to theaters.
Besides a desire to visit theaters, a number of summer blockbusters have driven ticket sales, Placer.ai reported, including Top Gun: Maverick, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Jurassic World Dominion.
Though complete data for moviegoing in July isn't available yet, the week ahead of Independence Day saw a surge in visits to theaters this year compared with 2019, partly because of the release of yet another blockbuster for the summer, Minions: The Rise of Gru, which hit theaters on July 1.
For the week ending July 4, AMC enjoyed 30.4% more ticket sales than the same week three years earlier, while Regal Cinema and Cinemark sales were up 34.5% and 57.7%, respectively.
Placer.ai also reported that while people aren’t going out to see movies as often as they did in 2019, when they do go to movie theaters, it is a more important occasion, so consumers are willing to drive farther and spend more on each movie night.