Finding an Audience: Distribution Notes for 5/29/09

movie-ticket-and-popcornTheatrical

More people play video games than go to the movies according to a new study from the NPD Group. One factor in the shift – and I hope Hollywood is paying attention particularly to this – is that current games are available in a variety of ways, whether as a physical disc or download. I have some questions about this study but they’re probably not going to throw off the results too much. The reality is that distribution is shifting and Hollywood has yet to leave the “denial” stage of any paradign change period.

Exhibitors are doing alright in the current recession despite the fact that ticket sales are generally flat largely because ticket prices are higher and the fact that some people are buying more concessions, where the real money is made. If that latter trend continues you can expect studios to start looking for a cut of that as well.

Home Video

A new report from Nielsen says that the drop in sales of physical DVDs is due to the recession and the tightening of budgets and not because there’s a tidal shift over to digital downloads. When they do buy they’re choosing value centers like Wal-Mart over electronics retailers like Best Buy. But “rental” is becoming an increasingly popular way to watch new release films, which is good news for those companies but bad news for theater owners.

Blockbuster is hoping that the addition of movie-themed swag to their shelves will bring people back to its brick-and-mortar stores.

Online/On-Demand

Matt Dentler points to a story on how Warner Bros. says its strategy of releasing films to VOD on the same day as their DVD is not hurting disc sales.

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