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Study: Moviegoers Barely Prefer Theatrical to Same-Day DVD Release

14 Jun, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

A new Nielsen Analytics and Movie Advisory Board survey found 53% of respondents would not skip theatrical releases if a movie was released in theaters and on DVD simultaneously.

However, 36% in the nationwide survey of more than 2,600 active moviegoers said they would skip theatrical releases and rent the movie on DVD if it was released on both platforms simultaneously.

That figure is significant and underscored the notion that any adjustment of release windows could have a cannibalistic or expansive effect on revenues especially among younger moviergoers (18-to-24) who attend less than five movies annually.

“The theater business could not sustain that [36% drop],” Larry Gerbrandt, GM and SVP of Nielsen Analytics, told Reuters.

About 18% of respondents said they had downloaded at least one full-length film, and more than 50% said they had ordered at least four video-on-demand titles in the past 12 months.

The survey found that recent declines in theatrical attendance had as much to do with the quality of films offered, ticket prices and change in lifestyles as to the rise in new forms of digital distribution.

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