How often do Americans watch movies in a theater? With an increasing number of ways to access and watch movies, do Americans go to the movie theater as often as they once did?

In our Digital Future Study in 2018 we asked, on average, how often respondents watched movies in a theater. The most common answer (given by 52.8% of respondents) was less than monthly. Another 18.3 % said that they went monthly, and over one fifth of respondents (20.4%) said that they never went to the theater.

Back in the Golden Age of the cinema (1930-1945), most Americans went to the movie theater every week. In the early 1940s households averaged over two trips to the movie theater per week.

Things have changed drastically since then. Today 3.4% say that they go weekly, and only 1.6% reply that they go more than once a week. Another 3.5% answered that they go every other week on average.

People still report enjoying films more when they see movies in a theater, so the theater will probably never die. But fewer people are visiting the movie theater on a regular basis than in the past.


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May 21, 2019