Viewers are not as confident about returning to theaters as they were at the beginning of the year, according to a new survey. After enduring an extremely difficult 2020, the film industry was hopeful that 2021 would usher in the theatrical market recovery. While it will be some time before the box office returns to 2019 levels, there were encouraging signs during this summer movie season. Titles like A quiet place, part II, F9, Y Black widow all performed well under the circumstances, illustrating that audiences were willing to return to the multiplex to see the most anticipated films of the year.
Despite this, there is still cause for concern. Over the past two weeks, the spread of the Delta variant has led to an increase in new cases of COVID-19 in the United States. This new peak has already left an impact in Hollywood, with Paramount delaying Clifford the big red dog indefinitely. None of the other fall titles have been delayed yet, but it’s a situation worth keeping an eye on. Studios will likely pick up on new data on audience comfort levels.
A report in THR cites a new audience poll in which potential viewers were asked if they felt comfortable going to the movies. Across all demographics counted, the percentages were down from data compiled on July 11, marking the era of the pandemic at a high level for audience comfort level. The latest numbers are from an August 1 poll. Check out the stats below:
- All viewers: 70% (81% on July 11)
- Men under 25 years of age: 78% (88% on July 11)
- Men over 25 years: 71% (82% on July 11)
- Women under 25 years: 75% (87% on July 11)
- Women over 25 years: 62% (72% on July 11)
Weather THR you notice that the studies are not “operating the emergency switch” At this point, the numbers are likely to be somewhat concerning. If the Delta variant continues to spread and increases audience concern, it may lead to more fall movies being delayed. The new Poison: Let there be slaughter The trailer oddly enough left the film’s scheduled September release date, instead simply stating that the sequel will hit theaters. “this autumn.” That fueled speculation that Sony is considering delaying it, as they are not committing to a set window. It will be interesting to see what happens with other projects like No time to die and Marvel’s Shang-chi Y Eternal. The latter recently had a television spot that reaffirmed its theatrical exclusivity this November.
The fact that audience confidence levels regarding movie theaters fell so much in just a span of three weeks illustrates how fluid the COVID-19 pandemic situation is, making the next few months almost impossible to predict. The hope is that the current spike in new cases is the worst in the Delta spread and things will improve in the early fall, but that remains to be seen. The only thing that can be said with any degree of certainty is that studios are in a precarious position as they try to figure out what to do with its massive tentacles amid a global health crisis and an ever-changing industry landscape.
Next: All Movies Coming Fall 2021 (And Where To Watch Them)
Why Gene Hackman Retired From Acting
About the Author