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Proving I'm Right About the Home-Theater Experience

2 Aug, 2004 By: Stephanie Prange

A few weeks back, I wrote a column about how the home-theater experience approached the big screen in overall enjoyment. Now, Philips Electronics (admittedly a not-disinterested party) has commissioned a study backing that view.

In the global study conducted by Harris Interactive, the most popular reason to watch movies at home is the comfort of the couch (30 percent of all respondents), followed closely by saving money (27 percent). Americans (29 percent) were among the most likely group to consider the cost.

This weekend, two friends and I spent a total of $21 to see The Village in a theater without THX sound (we missed the showing at the better theater). Evidently, we weren't the only ones who were interested in the movie over the weekend, as it made more than $50 million despite mixed reviews, beating industry projections. No offense to the filmmaker, but after seeing the film, I feel certain I would have enjoyed it just as much at home.

No doubt, the Sci-Fi Channel's faux documentary on M. Night Shyamalan and other teases increased our interest in the film. Regal Cinemas even charged an admission for a live interview with the director in the weeks preceding the film. I can't help but expect that interview or something like it to appear on the DVD.

Theater owners' attempts to beef up the experience with events such as the Shyamalan interview only strengthen my view of the home experience.

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