Data: Moviegoing Demand Strong in Europe; Less So in U.S.

As movie theaters slowly open worldwide following months-long closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, new data from online content recommendation service JustWatch finds consumer interest in returning to the cineplex stronger in Europe than in the U.S.

The French, followed by the U.K. and Germany, are the most enthusiastic about returning to cinemas, while consumer demand in the U.S. remains tentative — likely due to the ongoing scale of the COVID-19 crisis.

Michael Pachter, media analyst with Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles, contends consumers won’t feel safe returning to movie theaters until a vaccine has been developed.

“People may be eager to visit the theaters once they feel safe doing so, but we think it is unlikely crowds will return to any semblance of normal before a vaccine is widely distributed, particularly in urban and suburban markets,” Pachter wrote in a recent note.

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Among moviegoers, abundant supply of free hand sanitizer and socially distant seating seem to be the must-have requirements for people to feel safe when returning to cinemas.

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