Americans Miss the Big Screen More Than Brits, Aussies, YouGov Survey Finds

People wear protective face masks outside the Regal movie theate
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Polling data also shows Americans are still more cautious than British and Australian moviegoers about returning to theaters amid the pandemic.

Americans are more cautious about returning to cinemas amid the pandemic than British and Australians but are most likely to say they miss seeing Hollywood tentpoles at the local multiplex, a new YouGov survey finds.

YouGov polled moviegoers in the three global markets on how comfortable they are about going to the cinema and how Hollywood’s shift to the premium video-on-demand space may impact theater attendance in a post-COVID-19 world.

The polling firm surveyed 1,000 U.S. adults online on Feb. 22, another 1,000 adults in Britain online on Feb. 22, and 1,000 online respondents in Australia on Feb. 23. The YouGov data found around 37 percent of Americans surveyed report they are worried about safety at the cinema, compared to 33 percent of Brits and 21 percent of Australians.

That's as U.S. movie theaters outside of New York and California have been open with limited capacity, while U.K. cinemas are now set to reopen after a strict lockdown and Australian cinemas have been open for several months as that country's COVID-19 crisis has been largely contained.

Against that consumer backdrop, 34 percent of Americans polled said they have missed going to the cinema, compared to 27 percent of Brits and 25 percent of Australians down under. YouGov data also reveals the major studios since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 choosing to delay a theatrical release for their tentpoles, or send them directly to streaming services, could impact how consumers embrace movie viewing post-pandemic.

Around 27 percent of Americans polled said they use streaming movie services so expect to go to the cinema less often than in the past, against 26 percent of Australians and 20 percent of Brits surveyed.