Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

Sign Up
Already have a account? Log In

Foot Traffic Trends Reveal Consumers Ready for Holiday Cheer

Shira Petrack
November 21, 2022
Foot Traffic Trends Reveal Consumers Ready for Holiday Cheer

With COVID concerns fading, many consumers are now ready to enjoy life’s simpler pleasures, from decorating their lawns for Halloween to going to the movies. So while inflation continues to dominate many of the retail headlines, diving into foot traffic trends in key discretionary categories provides plenty of reasons for optimism as 2022’s holiday season picks up steam. 

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Draws In the Crowds 

Despite the hand-wringing over the post-COVID future of movie theaters, audiences over the past year have consistently turned up to watch exciting releases as soon as they drop. Action and sci-fi/fantasy films succeed particularly well at the box office, so it’s no surprise that movie theater foot traffic peaks are now usually driven by these genres – and recent foot traffic data suggests that the trend is continuing. 

October 2022 saw its smallest year-over-three-year (Yo3Y) visit gap the week of October 17th with the release of Black Adam, and November started off even stronger with Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The week of the film’s release saw foot traffic to AMC Theaters and Regal Cinemas up by 29.3% and 21.0%, respectively, relative to the equivalent week in 2019.

Ticket Price Increase Makes Up For Foot Traffic Decline 

While looking at the graph above reveals the potential certain movies have of drawing audiences back to theaters, the numbers also highlight the persistent visit gaps that continue to plague the sector. But diving a little deeper shows that returning to pre-pandemic foot traffic levels is just one way that movie theaters can make a comeback. 

As going to the cinema evolves from a regular activity to a special occasion outing, movie-goers are willing to pay more for each ticket. This means that chains such as AMC and Regal could potentially reach pre-pandemic revenue without pre-pandemic visit numbers, as illustrated by comparing opening weekend stats for the two Black Panther movies. 

Over the opening weekend of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, AMC and Regal received around half as many visits as during the opening weekend of 2018’s Black Panther. At the same time, and despite inflation and tighter consumer budgets, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever drove only a 10% decrease in opening weekend box-office revenue domestically. 

Of course, comparing opening weekend visit numbers cannot provide a precise assessment of the difference in visits for the two Black Panther films, since some guests visited the movie theater to see other films. Still, it’s likely that a majority of movie-goers turned up to watch the highly-anticipated new release. The fact that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever could generate almost as much ticket revenue over its opening weekend with significantly fewer visits than the original Black Panther indicates that the future of movie theaters is bright. 

Consumers Return to Pre-Pandemic Halloween Patterns

Movie theaters are not the only discretionary category seeing a post-pandemic comeback. Popular Halloween-themed shopping destinations also experienced a foot traffic resurgence this year, with Party City and Hobby Lobby both seeing major visit bumps the weeks of October 24th and 31st when compared to foot traffic during the equivalent weeks in 2019. 

Some of the spike is due to calendar fluctuations – the week of October 31st through November 6th, 2022 is being compared to the week of November 4th through 10th, 2019. But the foot traffic surge in party and decoration-related retailers does indicate that consumers are ready to partake in seasonal celebrations once again – despite the economic headwinds – which bodes well for Black Friday and the holiday retail season. 

For more data-driven consumer insights, visit

Get 3 brand & industry
breakdowns every week

Subscribe to the newsletter

Great! Prepare your inbox for data-driven insights...
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Get a Demo

Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please provide a valid email
Please enter your email
Please enter company name

Thanks for reaching out!

One of our experts will be in touch soon

Try Free
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Why Are Specialty Grocers Thriving in 2023?
The CAVA Craze: A Location Intelligence Perspective on the Mediterranean Marvel
How Will Primark’s US Expansion Impact Target?
All Eyes on Eyewear
Northwestern U.S. Grocery Dive
Return of the Lunch: Salad Chains Are Thriving
Retail Media Networks – Off the Beaten Track
Bet Your Bottom Dollar: Discount and Dollar Stores Drive Foot Traffic
Ulta & Lululemon: Discretionary Spending On The Up
The Score After Q1: Sporting Goods Chains
Who Uses NYC Airports: Biting Into The Big Apple’s Main Transport Hubs
Off Price: Strength in The Face of Retail Challenges
Visits Improve for Home Improvement
Walmart, Target & Wholesalers in Q1 2023 – The Return of Mission-Driven Shopping?
Department Store Roundup: Q1 2023 Office Index: April 2023 Recap Mall Index, April 2023 – A Rebound on the Horizon?
How Will Bed Bath & Beyond’s Bankruptcy Impact the Retail Space?
Buffet Restaurants: Filling Up on Foot Traffic
Thrift Stores: Vintage Visits Drive New Age in Apparel
The Windy City: A Hub of Post-Pandemic Opportunity
Diving into Dining Traffic - Q1 2023
Bring On The Joe
A Dollar (or more) For Your Thoughts: Five Below and pOpshelf
Dining Out With The Cheesecake Factory
Retail Foot Traffic Recap – March 2023
Digging Into 2023: McDonald’s and Chipotle Update Office Index: March 2023 Recap
How Did Key Retail Categories Perform in Q1 2023?
Northeastern USA Grocery Dive
Movie Theaters Storylines for 2023
Ollie's Bargain Outlet: Discounters are Evolving
Leveraging Brick-and-Mortar Retail in 2023
America’s Evolving Work Patterns: A Deep-Dive into New York and Chicago Mall Index March 2023
Tuning Into Record Stores
Five Franchises To Watch in 2023
What’s Next For Domestic Tourism?
It’s Showtime! Movie Theaters in the Spotlight
5 Limited Time Offers (LTOs) Driving Restaurant Traffic
Department Store Deep-Dive: Belk
Regional Grocery Chains Staying Ahead of the Competition
Five Chains that Rightsized for Success
Unlocking the Potential of Offline Retail Media Networks
Dining Out With Darden
What’s in Store for Self-Storage?
Nike & lululemon Update: Strong Performance Amid Expansion Plans
Many Ways to Win: Midwest Grocery Deep Dive
Retail, Reinvented: The Rise of the Pop-Up Shop
Navigating a New Normal in Business Travel & Commutes Office Index: February 2023 Recap
Retail Categories Staying Strong in Volatile Environment
Ulta Beauty: Poised for Success into 2023 Mall Index February 2023: Reasons for Continued Optimism
Catching Up With DICK’s & Hibbett
The Miami-Dade Arena: An Advertising Slam Dunk
Car Washes Revving Up Visits
Tuesday Morning and Sunrises in Home Furnishing
Dining & Valentine’s Day Recap
2023: The Year of the Discount Store
Aldi’s Success Highlights Growing Demand for Value Groceries
5 Retail & Service Categories Holding onto Pandemic Gains in 2023
Visitor Insights from Super Bowl 2023
2023 First Look: Home Improvement Update
How Are Target, Walmart, and Wholesale Clubs Faring in 2023?
Department Store Deep-Dive: Nordstrom
Off-Price: Taking Off in Uncertain Times
Checking in On Middle-Class Hubs
Who Attends the Super Bowl? Office Index: January 2023 Recap
Focusing On Fitness: Q4 and January Recap Mall Index: January 2023 – Returning Mall Normalcy?
Location Intelligence Insights Into Concert Attendance
Winning Dining Strategies for 2023
In-N-Out Burger: What to Expect as the Brand Moves East
Location Intelligence Breakdown: Coffee Caps-Off 2022
Digitally Native Brands Lean Into Brick & Mortar
Washington, D.C. Population Changes & Migration Trends
A Location Intelligence Perspective on Macy’s Rightsizing
Amazon-Powered Shopping: The Future of Brick-and-Mortar Grocery?
Cold Weather, Hot Visits: Diving into Winter Resorts
Wawa and 7-Eleven: Leaning Into the “Slurpee Effect”
2022 and Beyond: Catching Up With McDonald’s & Chipotle
Let’s Have Some Fun! Going Out Is In’s Q4 2022 Quarterly Index Adds Industry Executives to Leadership Team To Drive Company's Next Phase of Growth
5 Emerging Retail Formats: 2023’s Brick-and-Mortar Evolution
Grocery Update: Zooming in on the Lone Star State
2022 Office Recap: The Year of the TGIF Work Week
What Lies Ahead for Brick-and-Mortar Luxury in 2023 Mall Indexes: December 2022 Recap
Looking Back on 2022’s Holiday Shopping Season
Post-Pandemic Migration Trends in New York
Top Retailers for 2023
The Live Sports Advertising Opportunity
Domestic Migration to the Mountain States: Small Shifts with Big Implications
New Year, New Food: 5 Dining Trends For 2023
This is Why Shop-in-Shops Are Everywhere
Super Saturday 2022 Recap