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Frequency of going to the movies in the U.S. 2019

During a survey in June 2019, it was found that just 14 percent of U.S. adults visited a movie theater one or more times per month, but 46 percent stated that they went to the cinema to watch a movie once or year or less. Another survey earlier in the same year revealed that visits to the cinema can vary according to generation. On average, 34 percent of Gen Xers had seen one movie within the last month, compared to 43 percent of those classed as being members of Generation Z. Meanwhile, Boomers had seen far fewer movies recently than their younger counterparts.

Why don’t more people visit movie theaters?

The reticence to go to cinema to watch a movie could have to do with rising ticket prices in North American movie theaters. Back in 2001, the average ticket price was 5.66 U.S. dollars. Five years later in 2006, this price had risen to 6.55 dollars. In 2018, a visit to the movies cost 9.11 U.S. dollars per ticket on average. This means that the cost of seeing a movie has almost doubled in 17 years.

Admittedly the increase in price has been gradual, growing by roughly 10 to 50 cents each year, which doesn’t sound like much. However, for a family of four in 2018 the cost of a trip to the movies could amount to over 35 dollars, and that’s without any trimmings like popcorn, soda or snacks, which moviegoers say they like to buy.

Is streaming affecting movie theater attendance?

It has been noted that the growth of entertainment options offered by streaming services could have an effect on whether or not people are willing to leave their homes to visit a movie theater. Why leave the house and pay around nine dollars per ticket when you already pay for a streaming subscription and can choose from hundreds of different movies from the comfort of your own couch? The sheer amount of options on platforms like Netflix make it all too easy for film lovers to decide against going out and to spend their dollars on subscription upgrades instead of cinema tickets.

It’s hard to ignore that times are changing and that movie theater attendance may never be what it once was. But, as long as streaming services continue to offer an abundance of films within different genres from all across the world, the movie fans out there will still have a way to engage with film in the way they choose.

Frequency of going to movie theaters to see a movie among adults in the United States as of June 2019

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Release date

August 2019


United States

Survey time period

June 20 to 23, 2019

Number of respondents

2,200 respondents

Age group

18 years and older

Method of interview

Online survey

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Statistics on "Film industry in the U.S."

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