A new survey cited by Variety makes grim reading for theater owners, and justifies the decisions taken by studios recently, such as Warner Bros. this week.

Deloitte’s internal Center for Technology, Media & Telecommunications has done an in-depth study into consumer attitudes towards cinema in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s not good news for people like AMC. The study clearly shows that regardless of a vaccine, 2021 is going to be a rough year for the movie theater industry.

The US is looking like it’s experiencing the same second wave that hit Europe in the last two months. The survey was mainly finalised before this, in late October. Respondents were asked if they would visit a movie theater if they were able to.

71% responded by saying they would not be comfortable going to a movie theater within the next month and a little over 50% said they were unwilling to do so within six months. 18% had attended a movie theater since the pandemic began was declared.

Backing up studio decisions, 22% haid paid for a PVOD release and 90% of those said they would do so again. For those of you who know anything about customer services you will know that’s a satisfaction score that’s off the charts.

The analyst commentary went on to say:

“After the pandemic is over, it is unclear what role movie theaters will play in consumer entertainment or to what extent the existing system of releases will have been disrupted. There’s a role for movie theaters – but maybe not the leading role… The real question is not maximizing revenue per window but maximizing revenue per user.”

As more and more movie studios eye 2021 with concern, it would seem Deloitte were on the money. Warner Bros. entire 2021 schedule is going to be available via HBO Max, and the latest 007 adventure No Time To Die is rumored to be potentially moving out again as nobody expects April 2021 to be a safe haven anymore at the theater.