Expect cinema surge post-lockdown as UK’s viewing preferences are revealed in new survey

New research carried out by the pop culture agency, Experience12 has revealed the UK’s viewing preferences during lockdown while highlighting a desire among consumers to get back into cinemas as the world adjust to the new normal.

The wide-ranging survey of over 3,000 pop culture fans in the UK was collected between June 25th and July 2nd this year through the MCM Comic Con online channels. 80 per cent of the respondents were aged between 18 and 34 (48 per cent were in the 25 to 34 year old category; 32 per cent in the 18 to 24 category). Meanwhile, 58 per cent were male, 38 per cent female, 2 per cent non-conforming and 1 per cent transgender.

The survey revealed that 61 per cent of respondents prefer watching films to TV – which is backed up by the fact that two-thirds say they will be heading to their nearest cinema within two months of venues re-opening. A further 11 per cent said that they would go to watch a movie within three months.

The most anticipated theatrical releases have also been revealed via the research:

Top 10 Most Anticipated Films

  1. Wonder Woman 1984
  2. Bill & Ted Face the Music
  3. A Quiet Place Part II
  4. Tenet
  5. Mulan
  6. The King’s Man
  7. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
  8. Monster Hunter
  9. Candyman
  10. The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run


However, with most people still spending time at home, TV has been championed as a vital commodity to consumers during the lockdown period. Streaming services in general have emerged as consumers’ favourite way to view content, with 90 per cent opting for this format, compared to 4 per cent preferring on-demand TV and just 3 per cent choosing live TV.

Netflix leads the way in terms of subscriptions, with 92 per cent of respondents accessing this service, followed by Amazon Prime Video at 72 per cent.

Disney+ has enjoyed a fast uptake, with 62 per cent of respondents subscribing to the service, no doubt thanks to it boasting some of the biggest IP in entertainment, but also due to its discount launch campaign during the early weeks of the pandemic. Indeed, 47 per cent of the sample audience said that they had subscribed to Disney+ during lockdown.

In terms of on-demand TV services, the BBC iPlayer is way ahead, with 47 per cent of respondents claiming it as their favourite, compared to All 4 at 24 per cent, Sky Go at 14 per cent, and ITV Hub at just 3 per cent.

Netflix remains top when it comes to content, with 54 per cent of the TV, film and games fans claiming that the service makes the best TV shows. HBO came in at second place with 21 per cent of votes, with both Amazon Prime Video and the BBC also applauded for their output.

TV Series Most Excited About

  1. The Mandalorian S2
  2. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
  3. The Boys S2
  4. The Great British Bake Off
  5. RuPaul’s Drag Race
  6. Adventure Time: Distant Lands
  7. Doom Patrol S2
  8. Lovecraft Country
  9. Hanna S2
  10. Truthseekers

“Home entertainment has provided a lifeline for people during the lockdown – and still now, with many still spending much more time at home,” said Experience12 managing director, Chris Whittle.

“Netflix, Amazon Prime and now Disney+ are keeping the nation entertained and, while our research shows that Netflix retains the crown (and, indeed, The Crown) when it comes to the best content, it’s interesting to see that it’s actually output from Amazon Prime and Disney+, such as The Mandalorian S2, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and The Boys S2 which are the most anticipated.

“Meanwhile, it’s clear to see that pop culture fans are keen to get back to the cinema as soon as they can. Superhero movies are, as ever, what fans are looking forward to the most. But what’s interesting is that – while 79 per cent of our respondents claim to prefer Marvel over 21 per cent who prefer DC – the top two most anticipated movies come from the DC comic stable, namely Wonder Woman 1984 and Bill & Ted Face The Music.”