The Hobbit is top among cinema-goers, movie streamers favor The Hunger Games

December 09, 2013, 2:01 PM GMT+0

Now The Hobbit’s LA premier has got underway, 22% of Americans will be following Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellen) on the red carpet as they plan to watch the new release at the movie theater. This makes the Hobbit the most popular movie to see at the cinema in the US, followed by the Hunger Games: Catching Fire (20%) and Frozen (9%).

But the second installment of the Hunger Games is set to be the most popular streamed movie. 17% of the nation indicates they plan to catch up on Katniss Everdeen’s story via a streaming site such as Netflix or Hulu.

Movie fans tend to prefer watching new releases at the movie theater instead of waiting for the DVD release or streaming uploads, although Netflix’s chief tech officer Ted Sarandos recently spoke out, saying they should be allowed to stream movies on the same day they are released in the theater.

Most love for The Hobbit among animation fans

While 32% of Americans who prefer to watch an animation film plan on watching The Hobbit in the movie theatre, this was just the case for 19% of Americans who favor the drama genre.

Comedy fans would most like to see The Hunger Games – 22% of this group – and are less likely to see Frozen (9%) or Delivery Man (8%). Anchorman has above-average popularity among comedy fans, as 15% of this group plan on watching Will Ferrell take on his newsreader role once more, compared with 8% of drama lovers and 7% of animation fans.

Catching Fire more popular among fans of the cast

Among Americans who feel the actors make the movie – saying casting is important to them – 30% will watch The Hunger Games at the movie theatre. This compares with 25% among Americans who say casting doesn’t matter to them.

30% of Americans who think movie reviews are important say they will watch The Hunger Games in the cinema, and 28% who don’t take notice of the reviews. 33% who don’t think reviews affect their movie choice would watch The Hobbit at the movie theatre, and 28% among those who feel reviews are important to their movie choice.

Americans who are planning to buy a disc of the movie tend not to limit themselves to just one new release. And out of Americans who want to buy the disc version of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire:

  • 53% will also watch at the movie theater and 26% will stream online
  • 15% of will also get Delivery Man on Blu-ray or DVD, compared with 5% of Americans overall
  • 39% will also buy The Hobbit on disc, compared with 15% of Americans overall

Out of the 15% of Americans who plan on buying The Hobbit on DVD or Blu-ray, they’re also likely to watch:

  • The Hobbit at the movie theater (70%)
  • The Hunger Games at the movie theater (32%)

And once Americans plan on watching a movie, they are likely watch it more than once and in difference places. Among Americans who plan to stream Frozen on a site such as Netflix or Hulu:

  • 29% will also watch frozen in the movie theater
  • 24% also plan to buy Frozen on DVD or Blu-ray
  • 33% plan to watch The Hunger Games at the movie theater and 25% will stream the Hunger Games

For further information about poll results, and for details about methodology and omnibus services, please email

Find the full results here.

Image: Getty