Study: Millennial Moviegoing Changes Dramatically After Age 30

Millennial Moviegoing Changes Dramatically After Age
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Millennials aren’t a monolithic group when it comes to watching movies, a new study finds.

The catchall term for the denizens of Generation Y usually comprises people born between the early 1980s to the late 1990s. It’s a wide age gap, whose members exhibit widely different theater-going habits. Data analytics firm Movio crunched the attendance numbers and found that millennials under 25 visit the movies 8.5% more frequently than those over the age of 30.

There are also certain genres that have more appeal to that age group than others. Moviegoers under 25 are twice as likely to see a horror film as those over 30, 25% more likely to see a young adult comedy, and 13% less likely to have seen an animated film. They also are 45% less inclined to check out a drama and 52% less amenable to an indie production.

“We bundle them in one bucket, but the data suggests that as they get older they behave differently,” said Movio Chief Executive and Co-Founder Will Palmer.

Even though audiences in the under 25 age group contribute more to the overall box office, they are tighter in other ways. They spend 22% less on concessions each time they visit, tend to only buy tickets for themselves instead of say a family, and are 27% more likely to opt for 3D showings over 2D showings, which tend to cost less. Overall, they spend 7% less during each stint at a cinema than the over 30 crowd.

Interestingly, the gender differences in visitation frequency remain relatively constant over the entire age range. The gap between women’s and men’s average tickets per visit increases as Millennials age, presumably due to the fact that women would be more likely to take children to the movies.

There’s a gender gap in viewing habits. Millennial women comprise 17% of cinema loyalty program members, while men in that age group account for 13% of members.

There have been widespread fears that millennial audiences are abandoning movies for streaming services like Netflix and video games. Those entertainment options may be siphoning off some customers, but the group visits theaters an average of  6.2 times a year and, accounts for 29% of box office spending.

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  1. John says:

    Movie exhibition is gradually shifting from big screen to smart phone / tablet / laptop screen. Over 90% of the millennials growing up watching movies from their computer screens. To them going to the movies – spending money on parking, wait in line, concessions – is nothing but a waste of time. Until U.S. movies theaters go through a completely new facelift, big screen movie going experience will no longer appeal to the younger American generations. It’s a sad truth because movie attendance in the U.S. will continue to decline until 1st run theatrical release becomes no longer irrelevant. 15 years from now these $100 million weekend box-office opening will be a thing of the past, when 1st run movie exhibition will go straight to individual’s digital device. Movies will be dominated by small screens, the smaller the better. Want 7.1 Dolby Digital Surround or Dolby Atmos? Just put on a set of earbuds. Movie superstar salary will go from the peak of $20 million per picture (1995 rate) to $200,000 per picture. The $100 movie budget will become economically unpractical because digital video camera 15 years from now that costs $10,000 will have better image resolution than the Panavision 70mm film. The future of movie production and exhibition is happening now, the paradigm shift will occur sooner than the studio executives project.

    • Rex says:

      The “paradigm shift” won’t be anywhere NEAR as big as you think. And Millennials will GROW UP some day and have less time to spend on their “smaller, better” screens, just like the rest of us, and NO ONE can predict what the NEXT generations will or will not adopt. They may completely reject ALL of this streaming and digital stuff as just so much clutter clouding the minds and wasting the lives of the previous generation (i.e. the millennials). Everything is cyclical, and a LOT of the stuff you’re talking about are FADS. Long-lasting ones, but fads. Movies that cost $200 million to make will NOT be beaming directly into anyone’s phones and bypassing theatrical. It’s evident from the GLOBAL THEATRICAL BOX OFFICE of blockbuster after blockbuster that the theatrical experience is only becoming MORE popular, and will not be going anywhere soon. Sure, every wannabe indie moviemaker can indeed buy that 10,000 camera a shoot a “film” — for better or worse — that will only be worthy of digital distribution, but the big players and their big movies will ALWAYS provide an experience you CANNOT get on a tiny screen.

      Essentially you’re fearmongering the EXACT SAME WAY people did when talkies first started being made, when colour films started being made, when television started “threatening” the movie industry, when widescreen started squeezing out Academy standard aspect ratios, when video games took off, when YouTube first popped up. And yet through it all, movies projected in theaters THRIVED.

      Dolby Atmos in earbuds. Yeah, right. LOLOL

  2. Macy V. says:

    This is really interesting! Thanks for sharing!

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