Spider-Man: No Way Home is the most anticipated movie of the holiday season, according to a Marcus Theatres survey of nearly 2,400 customers enrolled in the exhibitor’s Magical Movie Rewards loyalty program in 17 states, the company announced on Tuesday (Nov. 23).
The forthcoming Sony/Marvel sequel was named on 63% of survey respondents’ lists of their five most-anticipated holiday movies, the theater chain reports. The film was the highest-ranked title in 10 states, as well as the most-anticipated title among male respondents. It was followed closely in second place by Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which was named on 62% of respondents’ most-anticipated lists and was also the top-ranked title in seven states. The Sony reboot was also the top-ranked title among female respondents across the board.
The remainder of the top five includes Warner Bros.’ The Matrix: Resurrections (named on 49% of lists), Disney/20th Century Studios’ The King’s Man (45%) and Universal/Illumination’s Sing 2 (43%). Survey respondents live in Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Georgia, Louisiana, New York, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Along with new releases, respondents were asked to name their top five holiday classics to see on the big screen. First place on that question went to the 2003 Will Ferrell classic Elf, with 57% of respondents naming the film, which was ranked No. 1 in 12 out of the 17 states surveyed. It was followed by National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (named on 50% of lists), A Christmas Story (46%), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (46%) and It’s a Wonderful Life (42%).
Speaking of holiday classics, Marcus Theaters will begin screening its 2021 line-up of seasonal favorites starting Dec. 3 for $5 per person. All five of the most-mentioned films on the survey are a part of this year’s schedule, which also includes White Christmas and The Polar Express. The full schedule can be found here.
Magical Movie Rewards loyalty members were also asked to name the gifts they’re planning to give and also the gifts they most hope to receive this season. Gift cards for experiences (sporting events, movies, dinner, etc.) took first place on both metrics, with 64% of respondents reporting that they plan to give a gift card this season and 71% saying they hope to receive one. The top three gifts that respondents are planning to give were rounded out by clothing (43%) and electronics (40%), while the top three gifts respondents hope to receive include gift cards for products (47%) and clothing (36%). Notably, 54% of respondents also said they were “extremely” or “somewhat” concerned about the product shortages and shipping delays this holiday season.
Finally, Marcus loyalty members were asked how they’re planning to celebrate the holidays this year, with results differing sharply given the widespread availability of vaccines now as opposed to 2020. When compared with survey results in 2020, 54% of respondents reported they plan to see a movie with family or friends during Thanksgiving week this year, versus 34% last year. In 2020, 36% of respondents saw a movie together in 2020 during Christmas week, while 62% said they plan to do so this year. A total of 68% also plan to gather with extended family this year, versus 47% who did so in 2020. Lastly, 36% of respondents plan to travel this year, versus 24% who did so last year.
In a statement, Marcus Theaters chairman, president and CEO Rolando Rodriguez also noted that 97% of survey respondents said they plan to visit a movie theater by Jan. 1. “This isn’t a surprise, especially this year as reconnecting with one another is incredibly important and movies have a way of bringing us together,” said Rodriguez. “Plus, the movie slate is as strong as ever.”