CivicScience continually tracks current and anticipated consumer trends. Here are three key insights marketers should know this week. All insights are derived from the CivicScience Social | Political | Economic | Cultural (SPEC) Report, a weekly report available to clients covering the latest news and insights. Start here to learn more.

1. Americans increasingly believe the government should bolster spending on social benefit programs.

The U.S. Senate recently passed a massive $95 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. Despite bipartisan support in the Senate, the bill – which faces opposition from both Trump-aligned Republicans and progressive Democrats – is unlikely to make it through the House of Representatives anytime soon

New CivicScience polling data show 35% of U.S. adults think the government should increase its military spending, compared with 19% who think it should be reduced. Defense spending is not the top priority for most Americans, however. Forty-six percent of respondents think the government should spend more on social benefit programs like Medicare and Medicaid – a seven percentage point increase over May 2023. Only 12% think spending on social programs should be cut, marking a slight drop over the same timeframe. 

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Take Our Poll:  Do you think Social Security benefits should be increased?

2. The majority of Americans are concerned about gun violence following Super Bowl Parade and other mass shooting incidents.   

A series of recent mass shootings, including the incident at the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl Parade, continues to thrust gun violence into the national spotlight. Despite a slight decrease since last year, CivicScience polling shows two-thirds of Americans are at least ‘somewhat’ concerned about gun violence, including 41% with strong levels of concern. Respondents who are concerned about being in public spaces are significantly more likely to express heightened concerns about gun violence.

“The Phantom Menace” is set to re-release in theaters this May to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Star Wars prequel’s 1999 debut. Other re-releases of classic and/or fan-favorite films – including “Home Alone,” “Hocus Pocus,” and “Jurassic Park” – have recently enjoyed considerable success at the box office. Movie studios are eager to cash in on the trend, especially considering the effect that the pandemic and last year’s labor strikes have had on both film production and attendance. 

According to CivicScience data, more than 1-in-5 U.S. adults say they would be ‘very likely’ to pay to see their favorite movies on the big screen if they were re-released in theaters. However, high prices may be keeping some potential moviegoers away – 26% of respondents say that ticket prices are the top reason they don’t go to the movies more often, a six-point increase since 2022. Re-releases may also combat another aspect holding movie fans back: a lack of interest in movies shown, which increased by two points since 2022.

Join the Conversation: Are you a fan of going to the theater to watch movies?

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