Based on data from Adams Media Research, 2009 was the first year since 2002 that people in the US spent more money on movie tickets than buying films to watch at home. Last year, US consumers spent $9.87 billion at the box office, 10% more than 2008, and film disc sales slipped 13% to $8.73 billion from $10.06 billion in 2008.
Blu-ray disc sales grew last year, but they still only represent a tiny sliver of the pie when compared to DVD sales. Despite a 5% increase in rental transactions, spending rose less than 1% to $8.15 billion, which is mostly blamed on rental kiosks like Coinstar's Redbox. Video on demand and online purchases rose slightly and overall movie spending in the US fell 0.3% to $28.38 billion from $28.47 billion.
"Consumers are still in love with movies," said Tom Adams, president of Adams Media. "In this environment, however, they're seeking the biggest bang for their bucks." How did you spend your cash on films last year?