Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Who buys DVDs? 

My colleague Dave Switzer posts something fascinating on the decision of a consumer to buy or rent a DVD. Key grafs:
I see that there are two kinds of movies that people rent: Academy Award Nominees and crap. People wanted to watch Michael Clayton (good movie, btw) and No Country For Old Men (boring, IMO) so they could have some idea of which should win the Oscar. And people wanted to watch Good Luck Chuck (for some unknown reason) but knew based on its horrible box office performance and reviews that they would probably only want to watch it once � and even then probably only for $1 at Redbox. Baby Mama and Fool�s Gold are in this same league too.

I think it�s noteworthy that The Dark Knight was the best-selling movie of the year at the box office, as well as the best-selling DVD, but it is nowhere on the rental list. I guess when everybody has already seen the movie and everybody knows someone who owns the DVD, there�s no reason to rent it.

Of the top 20 movies sold, 9 of them can legitimately be called kid�s movies. (And yes, it can be a kid�s movie if it has The Rock in it. He�s the new Ice Cube � Ice Cube after he sold out, that is, and did Are We There Yet? and Are We Done Yet? Now The Rock does Race to Witch Mountain and Game Plan. I smell what the Rock is cookin� and it doesn�t smell so good.) Only one of these 9 movies, Game Plan, is also on the rental list. Parents buy their kids the DVD, plain and simple.

Click his link to see the chart. I rarely rent DVDs except when I travel (and nowadays I just download a rental and toss it on the iPod.) The movies I own are ones I want to watch over and again, which are seldom on the TV. (Note: I do not buy premium movie channels with my cable.) I own about 50 DVDs, many of them TV series. When Littlest was littler, we bought all manner of movies for her. Why? Because your kid watches movies 20, 30 times in a week, and often it's just one movie. I was joking with colleagues about the one Number One Son watched one night five times, Harry and the Hendersons. Godawful crap, and every time it would end, even at 3am, he'd wake up from the couch and cry for someone to restart it (this was in the days of VCR, so someone had to rewind, and he was four and not as skilled at operating the machine as Littlest, who was potty- and VCR-trained at about the same time.)

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