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New Study Shows That Millennials Are Still Interested in Going to the Movies

It looks like the generation of Netflix and Hulu also like to step outside of the house every once and a while.
By  · Published on December 8th, 2017

It looks like the generation of Netflix and Hulu also like to step outside of the house every once and a while.

recent study conducted by Fandango shows that the films millennials are most excited about this month are Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Others that made the list include films that will release in theaters nationwide such as Pitch Perfect 3 and The Greatest Showman along with more independent films such as The Shape of Water and The Disaster Artist.

And while this is fun information, perhaps the more important results from the study show that millennials are actually planning on seeing these films in the theater. Out of more than 1,500 participants polled, 86% said that they were planning to see at least two films in theaters, while 34% said they would go to see four or more. With new additions like reclining seats being the most attractive amenity at 65%, about 56% of those polled also said that large screens and quality sound systems were a part of why they wanted to go to the movie theater for their viewing experience.

The study also dives into the numbers of deciding factors for going to see a particular film, with 47% saying they decide based on whether or not a film has a strong storyline, as well as how they purchase their tickets before heading out to go see a movie.

Much like the summer, the November/December movie season is usually packed with interesting and exciting films. But even with big hits this past summer like Wonder Woman and Spider-Man: Homecoming, the blockbuster season still fell behind in terms of overall box office numbers. Therefore, if millennials do show up to the theater this month as the study predicts based on the polls taken, then the December turn-out could be just the thing to boost this year’s overall numbers, showing that there is still an interest amongst young people in going to the movie theater.

This interest in going to the theater, however, is not too surprising. Often it’s assumed that with the convenience of streaming platforms and new innovations to home-viewing experiences, those of the millennial generation would prefer to simply stay home rather than going to see a film elsewhere. In reality, though, nothing can really compare to the movie-theater experience, no matter how fancy TVs get or how expansive of a library Netflix attains. For now, the original and the best way to see a movie for the first time is seeing it in a theater. And as movie theaters continue to remodel and make additions like recliner seats, they become a more comfortable and enjoyable place to be, which really makes a difference in their appeal when deciding whether or not to go.

Having a wide variety of films available during a peak time in the year also makes a difference. This December happens to a month rich with movies for all sorts of audiences. Star Wars being the most anticipated film for the millennial generation is something interesting in and of itself because it speaks a lot to our current era of pop culture, and how a franchise such as Star Wars is able to make its way to the forefront of a new generation. None of us thought Star Wars would be going away anytime soon, but the fact that the new series has such an impact on millennials, as the original trilogy did years ago for its generation, is a fascinating correlation.

Still, while some things between generations remain the same, others differ immensely. Only 5% of millennials say that the star of a film is the main factor in their decision-making process on whether or not to go see a movie. During the Golden Age of Hollywood and beyond, star power was something that attracted people to the theater most. At a time when trailers gave away the entire plot of a film, so long as there was a Cary Grant or an Ingrid Bergman figure in the film, it could be a sure bet for success. To say that celebrity status now doesn’t play the same role shows a shift in this period of movie-going. This percentage doesn’t diminish the fame and success of current popular actors, but rather is a positive sign that this generation is open to seeing films with talented new faces as well. And in part, it’s probably due to the fact we have more accessibility to films than ever before, which in turn leads to audiences watching more content, whether it stars someone they know or don’t know.

At the end of the day, these numbers are just statistics compiled from polls, but they do point to trends that help shine a light on what theaters and filmmakers are doing successfully to encourage movie-going. As a pastime activity or a livelihood, watching films is important. Why and how we do it matters for the future of filmmaking, and studies like this can play a part in directing it forward.

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