April 20, 2015
A survey by RBC Capital Markets found that consumers are not willing to pay any more than they already do to stream a movie on opening weekend. Eighty-seven percent of consumers will not pay more than $10 to stream a movie on the same day it is released in theaters. That’s bad news for Hollywood studios that are trying to make more money with same-day video-on-demand releases. Most of the survey respondents also said that a VOD release would have no effect on their choice to go to theaters.
The survey polled 1,000 consumers about their movie-going preferences. Only 7 percent of respondents were willing to pay $11 to $15 for day-and-date VOD content. That percentage dropped to 4 percent if the movie cost $15 to $20 to stream at home on opening weekend.
Movie studios have been debating day-and date VOD releases for some time. Universal proposed charging consumers $60 to watch “Tower Heist” on its release day in 2011. Netflix has been pushing for this type of release, and the company plans to implement it for the sequel to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” The sequel will be available on Netflix and in theaters August 28.
The survey found that day-and-date releases do not affect consumers’ decision to go to the movie theater. Fifty-nine percent said a VOD release within 90 days of the theatrical release would have no effect on their decision to see the movie in theaters. Meanwhile, 24 percent said they would be “somewhat less likely” and 17 percent said they would be ”significantly less likely” to go because of a day-and-date release.
What would get more people into movie theaters is more food and drinks and alternative content. “More than 40 percent of respondents said they would be more interested in going to the movies if full meals were served, and one-third of respondents said they’d be more interested if alcoholic beverages were served,” Variety reports.
Respondents also expressed an interest in seeing classic movies and viewing live sporting events in theaters. Thirty-eight percent said that seeing movies in a premium seating theater made them want to go to the movies more often. AMC was the top preferred brand of movie theater with 24 percent of respondents while 44 percent said they didn’t have a preference.