Movio Study Reveals Concession Discounts Positively Impact Moviegoer Spending

Movio has revealed research findings from a study that indicates the positive impact concession discounts have on moviegoer spend and behavior. The study sought to uncover several things, including whether targeted concession discounts could increase the amount moviegoers spend per visit, increase the number of items purchased, positively influence visitation, and generate concession sales from moviegoers who typically did not purchase concessions. 

To answer these questions, Movio conducted a trial between November of 2021 and March of 2022 with two US exhibitors, involving over 28,000 moviegoers. The study tested the different impact that $1, $2, and $4 discounts on large-sized popcorn had on moviegoer purchases. Each exhibitor used four groups in total, including one control group in each, with all participants consisting of moviegoers with historically lower ratings of spend-per-admit. These were identified through past behavioral data.

The study found that the $2 discount performed better overall than the $4 discount, demonstrating that higher discounts are not necessarily more effective. The findings also indicated concessions discounts could increase the overall amount moviegoers spend each visit, with up to a 17.6% increase in spend-per-admit, and also proved that concession discounts could increase the number of concession items purchased overall. 

The two moviegoer groups participating in the trial were ranked in the lowest 25% in terms of historical spend-per-admit, but the discounted popcorn produced a 44.1% and 37.1% increase in spend-per-admit, respectively. The research also found that discounted concessions could positively influence visitation. While the trial ran during a restricted window of time, with a relatively limited film slate, the results still showed an uplift in visitation rates. This was calculated by monitoring visitation rates when participants received the discount offer in advance. The $4 discount produced a visitation rate of 39.3% compared to 36.3% for the control group; the same discount also demonstrated a slight visitation rate increase for group two, 30.9% up from 29%. 

Ultimately, the research indicates promising insights for exhibitors, namely:  

  • Discounted concessions can increase overall spending during cinema visits; and  
  • Discounted concessions can motivate moviegoers who do not usually buy concessions to take advantage of a discount and spend on concessions.   

“Our goal is to help our clients and the industry to answer challenging business questions such as ‘does discounting concessions cannibalize spend’?” says Movio CEO Sarah Lewthwaite. “Movio is uniquely positioned to generate research like this study, and we are thrilled with the actionable insights it will provide.”  

To view the entire study, visit:

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