Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Netflix takes a bite out of boxoffice | 05/27/2005 | Box office business down for third year: Movie fans change how they watch

Brian Goble, 37, a video game entrepreneur, said he hasn't been to a movie theater in two years, except to see "Star Wars" with his wife and four friends.

Instead, he stays at his home in a Seattle suburb, where he has turned the basement into a home theater with a 53-inch high-definition television screen and large speakers for surround sound.

He no longer has to deal with parking and jostling crowds, he said, a relief now that he has two children under the age of 2.

"It's really just not as comfortable and fun as being at home," he said. "You can pause, go to the bathroom, deal with a crying kid. I can't remember the last movie I saw in a theater."

Goble rarely watches video-on-demand ("The quality is poor," he said.)

Instead, he has an account with Netflix (he recently rented DVDs of the popular "The Bourne Supremacy" and not-so-popular "Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow") and orders his movies online.

When the Nicolas Cage movie "National Treasure" was released in November, for instance, he added it to his Netflix list so he would automatically be sent a copy when it came out on DVD.

His prime regret about seeing the final installment of "Star Wars" was that he could not watch it at home.

"The only reason to go to the theater these days," he said, "is because it is a movie you must see now."


  1. I hope that the shift to many people watching movies via DVD means that people who finance movies stop focusing on films that appeal to a very limited demographic (e.g., teenagers) and realize that they have a large, more sophisticated audience that will watch movies at home. I don't know what share of movie profits now come from DVD rentals and sales rather than movie theater box office, but presumably it is substantial in many cases. Does anyone else know of any documentation on this point?

  2. The article says $21 billion for DVD sales and rentals versus $9.5 billion for theatrical business.