The NPD Group: Economic Concerns Do Little to Dampen a Night at the Movies

Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:00am EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

"Entertainment Trends in America" report asks movie ticket buyers
                    what gets them into the theater
PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y.--(Business Wire)--
According to The NPD Group, a leading market research company,
many of the most avid movie ticket buyers in the U.S. enjoy watching
movies in the theater for social reasons that go beyond simple
economic calculations. One-third of moviegoers head to the theaters
four or more times in an average three-month period, and these
consumers remain positive about spending their money on entertainment
content -- and on movie outings in particular.

   NPD's "Entertainment Trends in America" reports that nearly 80
percent of frequent moviegoers plan to go to the theater the same
amount or more often than they did last year, despite news about a
declining U.S. economy. Even among infrequent moviegoers (those who
attend movies once or twice within three months) 57 percent plan to
hold steady, or even increase, their attendance this year.

   The top reason cited by consumers who intend to go to the movies
more often this year is the social experience of going with family,
friends, or significant others (73 percent). Nearly half (48 percent)
pointed to the overall "movie-theater experience" (e.g., large screen,
sound systems, etc.) as a primary reason they like to watch movies in
the theater.

   "Nothing is completely recession-proof, but movies are one of the
ultimate social experiences," said Russ Crupnick, entertainment
industry analyst for The NPD Group. "Despite the fact that more
Americans now have high-tech entertainment equipment in our homes,
nothing beats seeing 'Dark Knight' in a theater."

   Consumers who plan to go to the movies less often than they did
last year, cited a dearth of good content, and unwillingness on their
part to spend their time and money going out to the movies. "Although
an uncertain economy plays a role in ticket-buying habits, consumers
will also find other ways to entertain themselves, if there aren't
compelling movies to see; and that's the case whether the economy is
weak or flourishing," Crupnick said.

   According to NPD's report, frequent moviegoers are 20 percent more
likely than the average movie-ticket buyer to purchase DVDs of recent
theatrical releases. They are also 60 percent more likely to rent a
movie downloaded from the Web, and 40 percent more likely to purchase
a movie as a digital download.

   "Over time increases in the cost of movie tickets may move the
social experience into the home," Crupnick said. "That's especially
true as better home entertainment offerings led by HDTV, Blu-ray Disc,
and simpler digital content downloading become more mainstream."

   Data note: Information in this press release was derived from The
NPD Group's "Entertainment Trends in America" consumer surveys. Data
was based on a sample of more than 11,000 consumers, and results were
balanced to reflect the U.S. population aged 13 and older.

   About The NPD Group, Inc.

   The NPD Group is the leading provider of reliable and
comprehensive consumer and retail information for a wide range of
industries. Today, more than 1,600 manufacturers, retailers, and
service companies rely on NPD to help them drive critical business
decisions at the global, national, and local market levels. NPD
helps our clients to identify new business opportunities and guide
product development, marketing, sales, merchandising, and other
functions. Information is available for the following industry
sectors: automotive, beauty, commercial technology, consumer
technology, entertainment, fashion, food and beverage, foodservice,
home, office supplies, software, sports, toys, and wireless. For more
information, contact us or visit http://www.npd.com/.

For The NPD Group
Lee Graham, 212-333-4983
lee@leegraham.biz

Copyright Business Wire 2008