Audiences are reporting more ease with going to the movies than at any point since the beginning of the pandemic. In fact, all four quadrants of moviegoers – older men, younger men, younger women, and older women – report high levels of comfort with attending a film screening in regards to concern over COVID. The impact of these attitudes has shown up in the box office numbers, with June ranking as the second-highest-grossing month in the pandemic era. Attendance by older women has been particularly strong, fueling ticket sales for titles like DOWNTON ABBEY: A NEW ERA, THE LOST CITY, and especially TOP GUN: MAVERICK. Until recently, older audiences of both genders had maintained a stubborn resistance to going to the movies, with persistent concerns about the risk of COVID spreading at theatres.
This impacted release decisions, with many studio execs questioning whether a theatrical release could succeed for a film appealing to older audiences. Recent results are demonstrating a reversal of that view. One encouraging statistic is that 55% of older audiences feel that the pandemic is now headed in the right direction, while only 7% feel that it is going in the wrong direction. Note that this attitude does not necessarily track with infection rates, which are increasing nationwide. But with the media now focused on other topics, the risk of COVID appears to be fading from public consciousness.
See also: ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ sets sights on $1 billion global box office haul (CNBC)