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U.S. frequent moviegoers 2017-2019, by age group

In 2019, there were 5.5 million frequent moviegoers aged 60 or above, up from 6.6 million in the previous year. Conversely, more 12 to 17-year-olds were visiting the cinema regularly that year.

Why do some people go to movie theaters less than they used to?

There is a clear overall change in movie-going frequency among U.S. adults – 44 percent of respondents to a 2018 survey said that they saw fewer movies in theaters than five years ago. Whilst many consumers still prefer to see movies in theaters upon their release, the hobby is arguably less popular than it used to be.

Trips to the cinema can be costly – on average, a ticket to a North American movie theater cost 9.11 U.S. dollars in 2018. For many Americans, this is too expensive, especially with streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon offering subscribers better value for money. It is no coincidence that the appeal of the movie theater has waned as streaming services have grown in popularity. It is now the norm to subscribe to a combined TV and movie streaming service, and whilst the nine dollar fee for a movie theater ticket covers just one showing, several streaming platforms allow consumers to enjoy content whenever and wherever they want for similar price per month.

Equally, a movie must appeal to film fans before they go to see it (particularly if they consider the price higher than they would like) and if for several months nothing comes up that interests them, it is only natural that they will visit theaters less regularly. Again, the appeal of a movie often largely depends on age. Far more younger adults are likely to watch live-action Disney remakes like ‘The Lion King’ than their older peers, for instance – and younger viewers also watch dystopian content more than older generations.

Number of frequent moviegoers in the United States from 2017 to 2019, by age group

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Release date

March 2020


United States

Survey time period

2017 to 2019

Special properties

frequent moviegoers are individuals who go to the cinema once a month or more

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