Q3 2022 Consumer Trends: The Future of Cinema

November 22, 2022

After a bleak 2021, and with many wondering about the future of cinema, we’re now seeing a big screen revival — according to location intelligence.

Happy young couple sitting at the cinema and enjoys watching the movie

Are movie theaters dying?

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our social lives took a nosedive—along with foot traffic to social venues like restaurants, shopping centers and cinemas. While many wondered about the future of moviegoing, cinemas themselves felt the starvation the most. After movie sets shut down and online streaming services took the lead, 2021 was a year of depressed foot traffic and closures for cinemas. But, what does location intelligence add to the story?

2021 was a historic year for cinemas in the nation, and that wasn’t a good thing. In fact, a historically high number of individuals did not visit a cinema at all last year. Before the pandemic, there was already a dip in consumer demand for in-theater screenings, making many movie mavens wonder about the future of cinema. In our latest report, location intelligence paints a more hopeful picture.

The Foot Traffic Plot Thickens

For Q3 2022, our sample of national cinemas boasted rising numbers in foot traffic, particularly at well-known chain cinemas like Regal Cinemas, AMC Theatres, and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. According to our data, foot traffic to Alamo theaters more than doubled when compared to Q3 2021, jumping by 131% this year. With a 93% increase in foot traffic, AMC came in second for the highest percent change for Q3 2022, followed by Regal Cinemas at a 77% rise. In spite of the gloomy headlines, national cinema closures, and other pandemic safety measures that affected the film industry in 2021, moviegoing is back in action in 2022.

Quarterly Brand Visits - % Change for Movie Theaters and Cinemas

Non-chain movie theaters also saw their foot traffic climb in Q3 2022. While these theaters were up by 42% compared to Q3 2021, they didn’t quite see the same, abrupt spike as their big chain counterparts. Nevertheless, cinemas across the country are once again entertaining millions. With the film industry fully functional again, and with the masses feeling more comfortable in enclosed spaces like cinemas, this surge in foot traffic could likely continue into 2023. Movie theaters are also filling their seats in unconventional ways, such as with AMC partnering with Zoom to host group conference calls on the big screen. We suspect foot traffic could surge yet again as new uses for the cinema space begin to draw in new crowds.

Is the Future of Cinema Here?

Overall, location intelligence shows that moviegoers are rushing back into theaters, and we expect the pace to quicken over Q4 2022. As our chart shows, Q4 2021 was a movie-packed quarter with many folks and families celebrating the holidays in auditoriums with their favorite stars. We’re guessing that Alamo’s foot traffic will wane again in Q1 2023 as chain cinemas typically see the highest number of visitors throughout the holiday season. This time of year, important for both the retail and travel industries, is often considered the most important time of the year for cinemas, as well. In addition to cinemas, foot traffic to other indoor social venues is back with a force this year, especially as inflation swells and people are looking for ways to connect without traveling too far, driving too much, or breaking the bank.

For more information on our consumer foot traffic findings, download the full Q3 2022 Consumer Trends Report or contact us to speak with an expert. 

Scroll to Top