I can’t help but roar with helpless laughter every time the theaters start blaring their successes to anyone who’ll listen, saying that 2009 was their “BEST YEAR EVAR!!!!!11!1″and they beat home video SO hard.
See, there’s two basic functions at work here that skew the results wildly in favor of movie tickets, and you can pretty much forget about it being because everybody wants to go to the movie theater. The basic functions:
1. People DID spend a whole lot less on DVD…but it was purchases that went down.
2. Theater tickets, especially IMAX, went up on average.
It’s not really that the theaters are selling more tickets–they’re selling about the same as they ever were with some exceptions based on demographic. But the prices aren’t staying static either, especially for “premium” options like IMAX. And people aren’t buying their DVDs any more–they’re beginning to figure, why should they bother? Between the growing prevalence of streaming video and the shadier options out there–well, people aren’t seeing near as much point in shelling out thirty bucks a copy for a DVD any more. Especially in these dark times.
So sure, the theaters are doing better business…but not necessarily because they’re getting more customers.