Beyond the Theater: Moviegoers and Other Media

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Digital Media Interpretation: Beyond the Theater: Moviegoers and Other Media

Interpret Insight

Though moviegoers are consuming fewer movies in the theater than they did a year ago, they are still
consuming movie content. They are expanding their home theater systems (HDTV ownership has gone up
12% from a year ago), increasing their DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals, as well as streaming more movies
online—all activities that cost less than seeing a movie in a theater. Moviegoers’ increasing time spent with
other media, like video games and social networking, offer new ways for movie studios and marketers to
connect with a strong group of consumers.

In early 2010, Avatar made history by becoming the highest grossing movie of all time. A few months after
Avatar’s release, Tim Burton’s re-imagination of Alice in Wonderland also had a successful run in the box
office, earning over $134 million. 1 The summer brought us Toy Story 3, which holds the spot as the highest
grossing movie of the year. The success of these movies, along with others released in the first half of the
year, were believed to make 2010 the highest box office grossing year domestically. Though the box office
revenue declined only 0.3%, movie tickets sold declined 5.9%. The average movie theater ticket price in
2010 was $7.95, up 6% from 2009’s average of $7.50. This is the highest increase in average ticket prices
seen in the past ten years.

     Moviegoers and average number of movies seen in the
     theater have declined over the past year

                                                                 Male          Female        Male               Female
                   2010                    All 
                                                               Moviegoers    Moviegoers    Moviegoers          Moviegoers 
                   2009                 Moviegoers
                                                                Under 25      Under 25        25+                 25+
        Watched 3+ movies in               66.9M                 12.8M         12.2M         21.6M                 20.2M
        the theater in past 6 
        months                             75.1M                 13.9M         13.5M         25.5M                 22.2M

                            Change          ‐11%                 ‐8.1%         ‐9.2%         ‐15%                  ‐8.9%
        Mean number of                      6.29                  6.47          6.27          6.50                  5.97
        movies seen in the 
        theater                             6.51                  6.82          6.75          6.62                  6.05

                            Change         ‐3.3%                 ‐5.1%         ‐7.1%    
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Description: In early 2010, Avatar became the highest grossing movie in history. The surge of 3D movie releases, along with several highly anticipated sequels, put 2010 on the track to becoming a record-breaking box office year (though it eventually fell short). Yet with escalating ticket prices and constantly evolving home theater technology, will consumers start abandoning the theater?
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