A new Screen Engine/ASI poll released Friday shows that even as large parts of the country are planning to reopen businesses, less than 10% of those polled would currently go to a concert, sporting event, or a movie theater.
Since the start of the pandemic on March 7, Screen Engine/ASI has released a weekly poll of tens of thousands of Americans who were asked about their feelings concerning the pandemic and its potential aftermath, with participants aged 13-64. For the week ending May 2, over half of all Americans surveyed said they are very concerned about the coronavirus, up 100% from when the question was asked eight weeks earlier.
When also asked what they plan to do when the lockdown is lifted, only 5% said that they would go to sporting events, concerts and shows, while 7% said they would go to a movie theater. Meanwhile, the interest in seeing movies remains, with 43% of respondents saying that the amount of movies they have streamed at home has increased since the pandemic began. Among those who see more than six movies a year, 52% say their streaming usage has increased.
“Social change of this sort is unprecedented in the quick time in which it has occurred,” said Kevin Goetz, CEO and founder Screen Engine/ASI. “Changes in habits that might have taken five to seven years to actualize are now in the works, with entertainment an excellent example. We’re seeing an increase in traditional television viewing, the expected increase in streaming and acceptance of premium video on demand.”
When asked what would be an “extremely important aspect” in their decision when to go to a movie theater again, 51% of respondents and 57% of frequent moviegoers said that it is essential for theaters to take necessary precautions. 38% of moviegoers and 28% of all respondents said that movies of interest to them are also a factor.
The poll also showed that coronavirus concerns are more common among women than among men. 58% of female respondents said that precautions in theaters were extremely important to them compared to 44% for men. This difference was also shown in other questions related to COVID-19 concerns.
“Until people are confident that they are in a safe environment, there will not be a rush back to any venue which involves being in large
crowds, especially for those who live in densely populated areas and females who are 35 and over,” Screen Engine/ASI wrote. “The implication from this is that movie theaters, stadiums, concert halls and other venues housing large events have a major messaging campaign to launch once they do begin to reopen. In hand with this, the relationship between consumer and business has been experiencing a shift because the internet has given the consumer a voice never before available.”