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More audiences are opting to buy movie tickets online as opposed to in theaters, a new study shows.

Online movie ticket purchases rose 18.7% in 2018 and in-theater buying of tickets slid 5.4%, a report from Webedia Movies Pro and Vertigo Research unveiled.  Results were based on surveys over 100,000 moviegoers as they left U.S. movie theaters over the course of the past year. The report noted that online ticketing accounts for about one-in-four of all tickets purchased.

The study found that online ticket buyers are 1.7 times more likely to visit in a group of two or more, compared to in-theater buyers. Online buyers are twice as likely to buy an alcoholic beverage, and 1.7 times more likely to buy a meal.

Crowds buying tickets online were also more likely to purchase a premium screen experience, according to the study, which found a 44% increase of such moviegoers. More than three in five of the moviegoers who bought their ticket online had premium seats as opposed to 37.9% for those who bought their tickets at the cinema.

The survey found that 28% of online ticket shoppers said they picked the theater because of reserved seating, while only 7.6% of those who bought at the theater listed that as a reason. Additionally, 36% of moviegoers surveyed picked their theater because of comfort, compared to 25.9% of offline buyers.

The survey found 36.8% of online ticket buyers bought their tickets directly from the movie theater website or app. The report also discovered that 72% of moviegoers who found the showtimes on the website completed their purchase on the same platform.

The study is titled “From Discovery to Purchase – The Moviegoing Experience Begins Online – A Boxoffice Profile.”

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