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NZ: Movie piracy down, cinemas overpriced

In a nationwide survey of 1650 movie watchers, The 2015 New Zealand Cinema Census has delivered a detailed picture of viewing habits. Commissioned by movie website Flicks.co.nz, “the Cinema Census confirms some suspicions while also offering up surprises” according to Flicks Editor Steve Newall.

Key findings include a decline in online piracy and viewing of DVDs and Blu-rays, matched by a rise in consumption of legal online movie services. The proportion of respondents who usually watch from an illegal source has declined from 87 per cent of online content viewers in the previous 2011 census to just 43 per cent this year.

“Interestingly, anti-piracy attitudes have softened”, says Newall, “suggesting that this drop isn’t driven by ethical or moral considerations, but solely by content availability”. A majority of those under 35 (67 per cent) still watch pirated content while the same is true for a slim minority of the older audience (46 per cent).

“Overall, movie piracy may be in decline, but these findings suggest it is part of an increasingly diverse range of methods used by individual New Zealand film fans,” Newall notes.

When it comes to cinema-going, the proportion of regular attendees remains similar to 2011 – 60 per cent versus 62 per cent. But an increasing number say movie tickets are too expensive, up to 82 per cent of respondents.

The Census asked how much cheaper tickets would need to be to double Kiwis’ movie-going, with nearly 2 in 3 replying $3 – $5 cheaper. This suggests a possible annual increase to the NZ box office of $25 million if a $3 discount was applied and the wider population shared these sentiments.

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