Hurricane Irene Caused Movie Theatre Attendance To Plunge, DVD Rentals & On Demand Viewing To Jump In The East

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

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September 2nd, 2011

via press release:

Rentrak Announces the Impact of Hurricane Irene on Movie Viewing Across Box Office, Home Entertainment and On-Demand UsageMovie Fans Not Deterred By Hurricane As Storm Activity Boosts Home Entertainment Rentals and Paid On-Demand Viewing During Severe Weather

PORTLAND, Ore., Sept. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Rentrak Corporation (NASDAQ: RENT), the leader in multi-screen media measurement serving the advertising, television and entertainment industries, today announced the impact of Hurricane Irene on multi-screen movie watching behavior.

While movie theater ticket sales and in-theater viewing were negatively impacted in some areas of the Northeast as consumers could not travel to their local movie theater, at the same time many consumers added renting DVD and Blu-ray disc movies to their storm countdown preparations.  Where electricity was intact, many consumers watched an increased number of paid VOD movies while stuck indoors due to heavy rain.

At movie theaters, Rentrak's Box Office Essentials™ reported that movie ticket sales dropped 18.9 percent due to the hurricane, as compared to the same weekend in 2010.  While Hurricane Irene did dampen tickets sales this past weekend in the Northeast with New York, Boston and New Haven most impacted, theatrical box office sales are overall up 3.9 percent from the beginning of the summer 2011 box office period.

According to Rentrak's Home Video Essentials™, on Saturday, August 27, 2011 while Hurricane Irene moved its way up the Eastern seaboard coast, the number of DVDs and Blu-ray discs rented in the coastal states north of Virginia increased, ranging from 30% to as high as a 300% increase in physical media rentals in some instances.  Once the effects of Hurricane Irene were starting to be felt north ofVirginia late on Saturday afternoon and continuing into Sunday, then disc rentals dropped dramatically down to levels 20-40% below the weekend period prior to the severe weather activity (August 19 – 21, 2011).

Rentrak also reported information from its OnDemand Essentials™ service for On-Demand viewing via cable and other TV services, for paid movie content during the hurricane weekend period.   Across the Northeast & Mid-Atlantic Census Regions of the U.S., Rentrak saw a ten percent increase in transactions on demand for paid movie viewing usage for that part of the country.

"On Saturday, August 27th, while Hurricane Irene was hitting the Southeastern coastal states, people from states north of Virginia still had relatively good weather so they went out and rented a large number of DVDs and Blu-ray discs in preparation for being stuck indoors when Irene continued up the coast," saidDavid Paiko, Vice President of Home Entertainment at Rentrak Corporation.   "While it was logical that bad weather impacted movie-going in theaters in the same region, Hurricane Irene drove a significant increase in movie rentals across bricks and mortar locations, as well as a spike in paid VOD movie transactions."

The Northeast & Mid-Atlantic Census Regions are made up of Main, Vermont, New Hampshire,Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  No other region of the country saw this increase in VOD usage during this past weekend.

About Rentrak Corporation

Rentrak (NASDAQ: RENT) is a global digital media measurement and research company, serving the most recognizable companies in the entertainment industry. With a reach across numerous platforms including box office, multi-screen television, and home video, Rentrak has developed more efficient metrics to be used as database currencies for the evaluation and selling of media. Rentrak is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, with additional U.S. and international offices. For more information on Rentrak, please visit www.rentrak.com.

 
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