As states across the U.S. are opening up again in fits and starts, and consumer life gradually returns to the new normal after several months of lockdown, we consider this critical question: Just because entertainment venues are beginning to open, does it mean people will come?

In order to test the current pulse of consumers, we fielded a survey in mid-April asking what COVID-19 precautions respondents were taking (including behaviors like frequent hand-washing, avoiding contact with people outside their immediate families, disinfecting their mail and groceries, etc.), what their attitudes toward COVID-19 were (how big of a threat they see the virus, and how necessary they consider the stay-at-home measures to be) and what their expected future behaviors were under reopening.

We analyzed the responses to determine:

  1. What are the natural demographic segments or clusters? (See Figure 1.)
  2. How big are the segments?
  3. How fast will each segment move to purchase?

The demographics of each segment provided some interesting insights around gender, education level and income (see Figure 2). In particular, the “Cautious Chris” and “Practical Pat” segments skew significantly higher than the more extreme segments on educational attainment and income. Meanwhile, more than 60% of “Doomsday Danas” (the most concerned segment) are female, and the “Bulletproof Bob” segment (the least concerned) skews heavily male.

So how are each of these segments expected to behave once things open up? While many theaters are already open, the first big test will come in the form of Tenet, currently slated for release in August. Will people come back to the movies to see it, or will the fear of the virus triumph? Similarly, how will amusement parks fare?

Our results show that the total addressable market (TAM) for both movie theaters and amusement parks has shrunk considerably given the significant percentage of the population unlikely to visit either type of venue until a vaccine is available (see Figure 3).

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Almost 75% of our respondents said there were things that venues could do to make them feel more comfortable. In fact, a range of relatively simple and easy-to-implement hygiene measures that are likely to be mandated anyway (e.g., more cleaning, free hand sanitizer) would encourage 65% of respondents to return (see Figure 4).

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