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Escaping from reality

cinema admissions during the recession

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

Escaping from reality

cinema admissions during the recession

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

Samenvatting

Researchers have long argued about the existence of the universal consumer trend escapism since it is believed that the trend has a positive influence on the entertainment industry, and thus the cinema industry, during the recession. As a result, the cinema industry is believed to be recession-proof, but due to the contrary statements, this study questions the existence of the consumer trend and answers the following research question: what causes the discussion on the existence of escapism with regard to the cinema admissions during the recession?
In order to answer this question and to conclude whether escapism exists or not, the study addresses several theories on escapism and consumer behaviour, such as the consumer buying process, impulse buying and the influence of the direct environment, by which escapism in this study is defined as "the act of outweighing the future benefits of a postponing a purchase, in this case a cinema ticket, too rapidly due to unsatisfying life circumstances by which the consumer can focus on something other than his or her own situation." This means that escapism is a hedonically complex experience as he or she is seeking short-term pleasure, which is based on emotional motives and influences from the external environment, especially peers, family members and, most importantly, the economic situation.
Even though, Dutch cinema admissions have been rising significantly since the recession was officially announced in late 2008, the number of visits in France, the United Kingdom and the United States faced a more undulating movement. This movement has not only been observed since the recession began to show effects, but also in the years before the recession started. It can therefore be concluded that this movement seen in France, the United Kingdom and the United States is quite normal and may be due to, for instance, the number and quality of movies released. Moreover, escapism is seen as an universal trend, which means that it should not solely be observed in one country, but in all countries outlined in this study.
Moreover, to further explore the potential existence, a questionnaire has been spread among young adults and a small focus group has been held by which the connections between escapism and other consumer behaviour trends have been examined. Even though, it seems fair to conclude that buying a cinema ticket can be attributed to impulse buying, it has been concluded that the variables mentioned by other researchers, such as accessibility, income, parental amount of visits and loneliness, do not influence cinema admissions.
In addition, all respondents of both the questionnaire and the focus group have indicated that visiting the cinema is a nice activity outside the house and it is a good activity to do with friends, family or a partner. Besides, the national cinema exhibitor’s association have stated in their studies that a cinema visit has been and still is the cheapest leisure activity which could thus positively influence the cinema admissions. It is, however, important to keep the advantages of both the Internet and the growth of Video-on-Demand companies in mind as these can influence cinema admissions in the long term.
So, it has been concluded that the universal consumer trend escapism does not exist, because a significant trend in increased cinema admissions would have been observed in all countries and the outcomes of the questionnaire and the focus group would have suggested otherwise.

Toon meer
OrganisatieDe Haagse Hogeschool
AfdelingESC Europese Studies / European Studies
Jaar2014
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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