A great majority (86%) of moviegoers plan to see more movies on the big screen this summer compared to last year, according to a survey from online movie ticketing service Fandango.
Fandango’s 2023 Moviegoing Trends & Insights Study surveyed more than 6,000 ticket buyers about their moviegoing attitudes and behaviors over the past year, as well as their future purchase intent. The study also found 81% plan to see three or more movies in theaters this summer.
Moviegoer anticipation for the upcoming summer movie season is high, with 89% saying they are excited that this summer will have more movies coming to theaters than in previous years. While Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was voted the most anticipated movie of 2023 in a previous Fandango moviegoer survey, moviegoers said their top 10 most anticipated summer movies are, in order, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One, The Flash, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, The Little Mermaid, Fast X, Barbie, Oppenheimer, Haunted Mansion and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem.
“With a blockbuster slate of summer movies, fans are eager to see their favorite characters and franchises return to the big screen, as well as new original films, in the unmatched setting of a movie theater, with engaged fans, their favorite concessions and the best sound and visuals available,” Jerramy Hainline, SVP of Fandango Ticketing, said in a statement.
Two-thirds of all moviegoers surveyed said they prefer to watch blockbuster movies on the big screen as soon as they are released, while 84% said that seeing a film in a premium format makes the moviegoing experience better. Over half said they plan to see movies in a premium format this summer.
Nearly all of those surveyed subscribe to a streaming service, however they still feel that theatrical movies have higher quality compared to those released directly to a streaming service. Price also matters to moviegoers. If presented with the option, 80% of those surveyed expressed interest in purchasing discounted tickets for less popular showtimes, and that interest increases to 85% among moviegoers ages 18-34. Still, less than a third of moviegoers surveyed believe movie theaters should offer varied prices for different seat options in the same auditorium.
Still, the perception of cheaper prices and the convenience of watching in the comfort of their home are enticing motivators for consumers to stream at home, according to the survey. Indeed, 77% of those surveyed said that if the movie were available to stream on a service they subscribed to at home, it would influence their decision on whether to see that film in the theater. The top reason for streaming at home was price, with 59% saying that the cheaper price was a factor, growing from 41% at the same time last year.
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Fandango’s study results underscored that moviegoing continues to be a shared experience, with 63% of moviegoers saying they go with a spouse or partner, while half of moviegoers ages 18-34 said they go with friends and 56% go with children. Summer moviegoing also is a big part of American culture, with 68% saying they like to spend time with family and/or friends at the movies during the summer and 61% saying that going to the movies is a favorite summer activity.
Fandango’s moviegoer study was conducted during February and March 2023, surveying more than 6,000 moviegoers who bought a ticket with Fandango since January 2022. The demographic breakdown of the group was 62% ages 18 to 54, with 60% identifying as female, 39% male, and 1% non-binary. Of the moviegoers surveyed, 65% described themselves as Caucasian; 16% Latinx/Hispanic; 10% Black/African-American; 7% Asian/Pacific Islander; and 4% other. There were a few respondents who identified with multiple ethnicities.