Who is going to see movies at the movie theater? With tickets regularly exceeding $10 per person in 2015, it is easy to believe that only those in the middle class or above are hitting the theaters for a show. That assumption would be terribly wrong.
Far more women and racial minorities see movies than there are women and racial minorities in movies.
Facts About Moviegoers
It isn’t because these demographics are going to see films about themselves. Most of Hollywood’s top movies are actually about white men. Only 15% of the main characters in the Top 100 grossing films of 2013 were women. Only 14% were African-American. Just 5% were Hispanic.
- 52% of the moviegoer audience are women, contributing to a US/Canada box office take that brought in $10.9 billion.
- Global box office for all films released in each country around the world reached $35.9 billion in 2013.
- Hispanics purchased 25% of the tickets sold in 2013, even though they make up just 17% of the total US population.
- Total admissions to movies fell by 20 million tickets sold, despite a 1% increase in total box office receipts.
- Nearly three-quarters of all frequent moviegoers (74%) own at least four different types of technology products, compared to 51% of the total adult population.
- In 2013, the share of tickets sold to the 2-11 age demographic was at its highest point since 2009.
- The share of tickets sold to the 50-59 age demographic was at an all time high in 2013.
- Hispanics, 2-11 year-olds, and 50-59 year-olds all experienced growth in the number of frequent moviegoers in their demographic.
- Since 2010, the 25-39 age group has comprised approximately 25% of all cinema tickets sold, but their overall share has been declining every year since.
What these demographics are showing is that there has been a shift in who has disposable income to spend. The data suggests that Baby Boomers are headed out to the movies more often than ever before and that families are seeing a movie ticket as a reasonable investment for entertainment. Those that have traditionally had high levels of discretionary spending, on the other hand, are seeing rapid declines over the last 5 years in attendance. In the future, this shift in attendance may also cause a shift in the style of movies that are made.
What Motivates The Moviegoer Demographics?
- In 2013, 31% of the U.S./Canada population viewed at least one movie in 3D, with 3D attendance skewing towards children age 2-17.
- The average number of 3D movies viewed by children under 18 increased by 0.2 to 1.8 movies.
- 4 of the top 5 and 8 of the top 10 films were released in 3D, significantly more than in 2012.
- Movie theaters continue to draw more people than all theme parks and major US sports combined.
- 68% of the U.S./Canada population aged 2+, or 228.7 million people, went to a movie at the cinema at least once in 2013.
- 80% of Californians went to at least one movie over the course of the last year.
- frequent moviegoers share of the population declined by 2 percentage points, while infrequent and occasional moviegoers each increased by 1 percentage point.
- Caucasians now account for less than 50% of frequent moviegoers and are underrepresented relative to their portion of the population.
- PG-13 films comprised 15 of the top 25 films in release during 2013, up two from 2012 numbers.
- Only 1 G-rated movie, Monsters University, made the Top 25. Frozen was a smash hit for Disney, but it is rated PG.
- The most ethnically diverse movie: Man of Steel, which attracted a 50% minority racial audience demographic.
Overall the data remains fairly unchanged over the last 5 years. Most of the demographics have remained fairly stable, within 2 percentage points, over that time. The share of the 18-24 age demographic is at a 5 year high while other groups have trended downward, while Hispanics by the most per capita movie tickets of any age demographic. The end result? People who go to movies are going to average seeing 4 of them per year. Considering a family of 4 can go to see at least two movies for the price of one MLB baseball game, even though the prices for a ticket are up, it still provides a great value. Just don’t buy the $10 popcorn and $8 sodas.