Discussion: The Way We Watch Movies

I’m a bit of a closet sociologist. I’m perpetually intrigued by the way people function with one another- the language they use, the institutions they create, the way they govern themselves, their systems of morality and the like. Obviously, I’m also perpetually intrigued by movies. Combine the two seemingly disparate interests and you’ll find that I’d like to know a little bit more about the way we consume movies. That’s what my topic of discussion is for today. I’d like to know more about the way everyone watches movies.

Here are several questions. Feel free to answer as many or as few as you’d like. There’s no purpose here other than to satisfy my own curiosity (and hopefully some of yours as well). Just to show that you aren’t all guinea pigs in a maze, I’ll answer the questions for myself as I go along.

How many movies do you see in a typical month?
In my average month, I’ll watch somewhere between 30 and 35 movies. That’s a good working average.

How many movies do you see in a theater in a typical year?
This year has been a little bit different because I’m trying to see so many classic films on the big screen, along with the regular batch of new releases I’d want to see. In a normal year, I’d say that I make about 15 trips to the theater.

Which devices do you use to watch movies? Television, tablet, smart phone, computer?
The overwhelming majority of what I watch is on my TV (through the DVD player or DVR). I have watched a small handful of films on my phone while at the airport, and a few on the computer because they were so hard to find that I didn’t have any other choice. I’ll also watch a few movies per year on a VCR, again, simply because it’s the only format I can find them.

How are you watching your movies at home? Do you use a dvd-by-mail service, video on demand, library, cable service/DVR, or other?
Netflix and Facets account for probably 2/3 of the movies I see each month. Most of the rest are from my cable provider and DVR. Six times a year or so, I’ll rent video on demand.

Which genres are the movies you watch?
The bulk of what I watch falls into three categories- comedy, horror, and drama. Other genres will slip through, but some variation of those three make up the majority.

What days of the week, and what time of the day, do you watch movies?
I do most of my viewing on Saturday mornings and all day Sunday. I’ll also sprinkle in a film or two mid-week, at night, typically on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Do you watch movies with family, friends, or by yourself?
I watch by myself most of the time. It’s almost exclusively a personal experience and it’s sort of rude to turn the actual act of watching a movie into a social experience, depending on how social you want to make it. That said, on the occasions I find screener passes, I try to share as much as I can.

While at the theatre, what is your seating preference? Aisle seat, middle of the row, front/ middle/ back of the theatre?
I’m sort of neurotic about this. I try to get on the aisle, or 2nd closest to the aisle. And I aim for a seat towards the front. I’ve found the fourth row to be optimal and it’s what I always try to get, if at all possible. Any closer is too close. Further back and you’re likely to be looking at the back of someone’s head.

Do you visit the concession stand when you go to the theatre?
Again, this is my neuroses showing. I’ll usually grab a small popcorn and I always buy a medium Cherry Coke (or… Pepsi, if I have to).  But there’s also a hard and fast rule that the majority of the popcorn (if not all of it) has to be eaten before the trailers are through. So if you ever go to a movie in St. Louis and you see some guy in the fourth row, furiously cramming popcorn in his face during the trailers… you’ll know that you have encountered John LaRue in his natural habitat.

When you go to the theatre, do you attend matinées, mid-afternoon shows, evening shows, or the latest show possible?
If at all possible, I try to see the first showing of the day. This means I’ve actually gone to movies at 9 in the morning in the past. Midnight shows are also great, but they’re a different animal all together. I wouldn’t do a midnight showing unless it was for a classic or cult film (no, not Rocky Horror, either).

Do you have any rules about watching movies at home? For instance, do you make it a point to use the bathroom beforehand? Do you make popcorn for yourself, or some other snack? Watch during dinner? Watch while you’re going to bed? Turn off your phone?
I really only have one rule. I won’t start a movie unless I’m almost certain I can finish it in one sitting. I won’t start a movie at bedtime, or even an hour away from bedtime. I won’t start a movie an hour before I have to go somewhere, and then pick it back up later. I have to watch it all at once, with some mild interruptions allowed (phone calls, bathroom breaks, etc…).

Is there anything else that you feel you should say about your movie-watching habits?
Personally, I have nothing more to add.


39 Comments

Filed under Movies

39 responses to “Discussion: The Way We Watch Movies

  1. Craig

    How many movies do you see in a typical month?
    It varies wildly, from none to a lot.

    I’d probably say 15-20 but I’ve no idea if that is accurate.

    I’m currently unemployed so have been making a concerted effort to watch a lot of films. In the past 16 days I’ve watched 28 new films and rewatched two films, so I’d say 50-60 films a month, but that’s a unique condition. Typically, I’d say 15-20 but I’ve no idea if that is accurate.

    How many movies do you see in a theater in a typical year?
    I’ve seen two so far this year, but that’s also due to specific conditions.

    Usually, it’s about 25 to 30 times per year. That’s to see classic films in my favourite little grindhouse cinema or more experimental pieces in the club up the road.

    Which devices do you use to watch movies? Television, tablet, smart phone, computer?
    Computer or laptop, depending where I am.

    How are you watching your movies at home? Do you use a dvd-by-mail service, video on demand, library, cable service/DVR, or other?
    Other.

    Which genres are the movies you watch?
    Comedy, horror and drama thrillers I suppose.

    What days of the week, and what time of the day, do you watch movies?
    Most days, no particular pattern. I prefer to watch in the evenings, 7pm or later but will watch in the afternoon if the mood strikes.

    Do you watch movies with family, friends, or by yourself?
    Usually by myself, though if I go to see a new film in the cinema it’ll usually be with friends.

    While at the theatre, what is your seating preference? Aisle seat, middle of the row, front/ middle/ back of the theatre?

    My ideal seating preference (excluding an empty screen) is the rule of nine. My seat, three behind, three in front, and one on either side. I like my space.

    Usually in the middle, slightly to the left or the screen. Someone once told me that was the ideal angle for viewing films. No idea if it’s true, but it’s become a habit.

    Do you visit the concession stand when you go to the theatre?
    Not if I can absolutely help it. Every time I buy something to eat or drink at the cinema I feel like I’ve been violated.

    When you go to the theatre, do you attend matinées, mid-afternoon shows, evening shows, or the latest show possible?
    Evening shows as I tend to see one-off showings of movies.

    Went to see The Avengers in the afternoon thinking it would be lovely an quiet. Hell no, kids everywhere.

    Do you have any rules about watching movies at home? For instance, do you make it a point to use the bathroom beforehand? Do you make popcorn for yourself, or some other snack? Watch during dinner? Watch while you’re going to bed? Turn off your phone?
    Depends on the type of movie. If I’m watching something I think has artistic merit and is supposedly very good (like Steve McQueen’s Shame, which is fantastic) then I’ll prepare for one sitting. If it’s some general trashy film then I’m not too fussy. I’ll get up, make a cup of tea, make food and go back to it.

    I’m happy to watch a bit of a film before bed as well, if I don’t expect anything from it.

    Is there anything else that you feel you should say about your movie-watching habits?
    Hello, my name is Craig an I’m a cineholic.

    • Haha… (group): Hello, Craig, and welcome to the meeting.

      I’m curious about that ideal location inside the theatre. I wonder why to the left would be the perfect spot. I guess because most action goes left to right? I’m not even sure if that’s a legit statement.

  2. Interesting John. I have a similar (actually completely different) post today.

    My optimum seating is 3rd row from front dead centre. Just saying. At least I wouldn’t get in your view from the middle.

    S

    • You’re right down the aisle from me. I saw that article. It’s a great read. I’ve really been enjoying your series about movie pet peeves.

  3. I think that moreso than a discussion, this would be better as a blogathon, but nevertheless I’ll answer the questions anyway:

    How many movies do you see in a typical month?
    The number has increased dramatically recently. So far this year I’ve seen 230 movies which equates to an average of about 53 per month. But I’d say on a normal month, the number’s closer to 40. This includes a lot of rewatches every month.

    How many movies do you see in a theater in a typical year?
    Same as you, about 15.

    Which devices do you use to watch movies? Television, tablet, smart phone, computer?
    TV almost always. I watch quite a few movies on YouTube though I know I shouldn’t (there are a stunningly high number of great films, particularly foreign ones, on there). It’s naughty of me, but I do.

    How are you watching your movies at home? Do you use a dvd-by-mail service, video on demand, library, cable service/DVR, or other?
    I use Fatso, which is the NZ equivalent of Netflix (except they only send you DVDs, you can’t stream movies or anything), or I take a trip to the good ol’ DVD rental shop, which is located conveniently just down the road from me.

    Which genres are the movies you watch?
    Arthouse, drama, comedy… those are the three I’ll forever love.

    What days of the week, and what time of the day, do you watch movies?
    Every day of the week, and usually at night.

    Do you watch movies with family, friends, or by yourself?
    Often by myself, but since my girlfriend and I live together, we inevitably end up watching the same movie most of the time.

    While at the theatre, what is your seating preference? Aisle seat, middle of the row, front/ middle/ back of the theatre?
    Second or third row, dead centre.

    Do you visit the concession stand when you go to the theatre?
    Yes, but only for drinks.

    When you go to the theatre, do you attend matinées, mid-afternoon shows, evening shows, or the latest show possible?
    Usually in the evening, I’m there, but there are often the best showings on a Saturday afternoon. This may interest you: there is a theatre in the nearby city of Dunedin which shows Tommy Wiseau’s notoriously bad film The Room once a month at midnight. When I first saw it, it was with a group but not there. Hopefully one day I’ll get a chance to attend one of those infamous screenings. Wiseau himself has expressed interest in visiting Dunedin to attend a screening.

    Do you have any rules about watching movies at home? For instance, do you make it a point to use the bathroom beforehand? Do you make popcorn for yourself, or some other snack? Watch during dinner? Watch while you’re going to bed? Turn off your phone?
    I turn the lights off, draw the curtains, go to the bathroom beforehand, have only a drink and no food. Sometimes I watch movies in bed when I’m falling asleep (usually a comedy like The Producers or Dr. Strangelove, and my girlfriend and I have a special late-night favourite, Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Delicatessen, which I highly recommend if you haven’t seen it).

    Is there anything else that you feel you should say about your movie-watching habits?
    Even though I watch films multiple times per day, each viewing of any film is an event for me, and I relish my next film viewing experience always.

    Great questions!

    • Delicatessen is a great movie, sort of a more advanced French version of Tim Burton. It’s one of the first French films I saw- somewhere in the 5th to 10th territory.

      It’s funny that you bring up the youtube thing. I don’t have much of a problem with it at all if- and only if- it’s a really hard movie to find. The truth is, a lot of movies just can’t be found. And I have no clue when/if they’ll ever become available in an accepted format. So if youtube is my only option, I say strike while the iron is hot.

  4. Interesting idea for an article, John! Mhm, how do I consume films…? I’ve never asked myself either!

    – – –
    Viewings per Month: 15-25

    Cinema Visits per Year: 15-25

    Methods: DVDs/BRs played on PS3, memory stick with avi’s on PS3, Apple Mac feeding mkv’s to television. I never watch or record live broadcasted films. I no longer use film rental shops/services and have never used services such as on-demand.

    Genres: All but mostly thrillers and rarely musicals.

    When: Week day evenings, weekend afternoons and evenings. Never mornings.

    With Whom: Almost always alone but occasionally with friends at their or my apartment, or at the cinema together. (I love to go to the cinema alone too.) I am pretty unsociable whilst a movie is on; I had interruptions.

    Cinema Seating Preference: Middle of the row, middle of the theatre.

    Concession Stand: Almost always for a beer or Coke before the show starts and again at half-time if it’s a beer evening (we have breaks where am I, which I loathe, but my weak bladder loves them!)

    Cinema Time: Almost always evenings, circa 8pm.

    Home Rules: I used to think it was sacrilegious to use the pause button but now I often do for toilet breaks, getting another drink, or rewinding because I can’t understand the actor’s mumblings (all too often these days). I never eat whilst watching as I believe you have a complete disconnect with the food which is a great shame and who needs those extra calories if you don’t even remember eating them. I’m the same as you: I’ll never start a film just to finish it another day; I’d rather go without sleep. I’ll often not answer the phone if it rings during a film. I’ve noticed that recently I’ve started, albeit occasionally, pausing films after significant moments to let the impact sink in. Weird?

    Home Time (bonus answer!): Depending on my mood, it can sometimes take an extra half an hour to get through a movie. But this would usually be a light film. Suspenseful films I usually sit through with just one short toilet break.
    – – –

    Glad to be of help, John. It’s a great idea for an article and I loved your cramming-popcorn anecdote! :O)

    If you want to know which films I watch and my opinion on spoilers and marketing, check you them main page at http://www.wonderfulcinema.com as well as http://wonderfulcinema.com/our-philosophy/.

    Take care
    Shimky

    • My only general rule about alcohol and beer during movies is that I have to had seen the movie at least once. That way, if I have a bathroom break, I know what I missed.

      The middle of the theater is turning out to be a very popular answer.

      You seem to be the most “advanced” viewer in terms of using as many platforms as possible to watch your films.

  5. I love movies. I used to watch a lot more before I was a wife/mom. I’d go to the theater by myself on a random weeknight and pick whatever I wanted to see. I’d sink into the darkened theater and be transported to a different time/place. It was my favorite thing. Sigh… those were the days.
    Now, sadly, my movie watching has seriously diminished. Especially because of the kids. Certainly getting rid of HBO and Showtime has something to do with it.
    Anyway, here are my responses to your movie census:
    -I see probably 2 movies a month. Boo.
    -I’d say I only make it to the theater about 4 times a year. Date nights with Hubby and the occasional Mommy vacation thanks to my Mom or her husband.
    -I watch movies On Demand or on cable or regular TV. So therefore many movies I see this day have been edited to fit my screen. Sometimes we’ll hit Red Box or I’ll watch a DVD I already own.
    -Rules? Nope. My movie and TV watching is heavily reliant on the pause, rewind and fast forward buttons. There are just too many interruptions.
    -I personally love almost all genres. Not a huge documentary fan, but a few have caught my attention. What I seek out to watch is largely dictated by the time of year. In the summer, guided by Hollywood, I usually want a big action/adventure flick or an epic saga. In the fall, I must watch every horror film available. In the winter, it’s always the classics, led of course by Its a Wonderful life and White Christmas. Spring? A grab bag of rom-coms and love stories and screw ball funny pictures. For example, right now, I really want to either watch The Vow or Clerks.
    -I prefer to watch movies alone, actually, after putting the kids to bed. But to be honest, the movies I watch these days are usually animated and I watch with my kiddles.
    – I like sitting smack dab in the middle of the theater with a bucket of Diet coke and a larger bucket of popcorn!
    wow, this is a long reply!
    😀

    • I have a lot of friends who’ve had a rash of kids in the last 2-3 years, and it’s sort of interesting to watch their movie-watching habits change. Nearly all of them can quote Cars and Cars 2 all day long. Another one of my friends was up around 40-50 movies a month, but now it’s crawled down to single digits or so.

  6. Phil

    Movies per month: about 20
    Theater visits per year: about 10
    Devices: I used to mostly watch DVDs on my computer, but this year I finally got a large HDTV. I stream movies from Amazon or Netflix over a Roku box too.
    Genres: I’m a completist, I watch everything. I usually stay away from modern horror and rom-coms.
    When: evenings, any day I have time
    With whom: usually by myself, sometimes with my son or the girlfriend
    Cinema seating: towards the front, in the middle. I want the screen to fill up my entire vision, or else I might as well watch it at home.
    Concession: usually popcorn and a coke
    When: we usually only have evenings free to go to the theater
    At home: I usually watch in one sitting. I like to be in front of my computer and I’ll read reviews and articles while I’m watching. I got an iPad last year, so I’m more flexible where I can sit now.

    • I’m happy to know that someone else checks reviews and articles while watching a movie. I don’t do it all the time, but I find myself doing it especially with brainier fare. If it’s Criterion, odds are good I’ll be doing homework mid-movie.

  7. aleksa

    Interesting.

    How many movies do you see in a typical month?
    On average, I’d say around 20.

    How many movies do you see in a theater in a typical year?
    The last few years, it probably hasn’t been more than two or three a year. Now that money is less of an issue (and now that our local AMC has those OBSCENELY comfy chairs), I hope to see more.

    Which devices do you use to watch movies?
    Television, for a majority. I will watch certain DVDs on my laptop, if the subtitles don’t want to work on my bluray player (unfortunately, my hearing makes CC more-or-less a necessity).

    How are you watching your movies at home?
    Netflix, mostly. I’ll supplement our watching with films from our library, but the selection (and quality) there is considerably less than Netflix.

    Which genres are the movies you watch?
    Horror is the majority genre, but we watch movies all across the board.

    What days of the week, and what time of the day, do you watch movies?
    My days off are Tuesday through Thursday, so most of my film-watching takes place on those days. I’ll watch films/shows during my work week that I know my daughter wouldn’t have any interest in.

    Do you watch movies with family, friends, or by yourself?
    Either with my daughter, or my best guy friend.

    While at the theatre, what is your seating preference?
    When I was younger and going with my mom, we always sat in the back row. With my daughter, we always sit on an aisle seat (middle row-ish) to better accommodate bathroom breaks.

    Do you visit the concession stand when you go to the theatre?
    Put it this way: I once snuck an entire McDonalds Big Mac meal into a theater. Including the drink.

    When you go to the theatre, do you attend matinées, mid-afternoon shows, evening shows, or the latest show possible?
    I’m frugal. We almost never go to films after six. Usually it’s the first showing of the day (here, that’s usually between eleven and twelve).

    Do you have any rules about watching movies at home?
    Not particularly. I have “forced” my daughter to watch films with me at home that she’s virulently shown no interest in, if I’ve found them to be particularly good (“District 9”, for example). Though my daughter is nearly 15, certain films I will still watch prior to showing her, and judge from there whether I think they’re appropriate (to this day, I won’t let her see “Audition”, which I found just too disturbing).

    • Haha… one of my friends (a regular commenter here) once brought Taco Bell into a theatre. I still chuckle about that.

      As for the comfort of theatres, I can relate. I’ve gone to movies during the brutal St. Louis summers simply because they have much better air conditioning than I have in my house.

  8. goregirl

    25 – 40 movies a month

    I probably see about 20 movies a year at the theatre on average. (I have a Cinematheque membership and generally see one classic movie each month and than anywhere between 2 – 5 films during the Vancouver Film Festival, I always go see a new movie on Christmas Day, but very rarely pay to see regular mainstream theatre stuff, maybe 3 of those a year).

    I watch more movies on my computer than TV, only because the speakers are going on the TV and it makes this hideous low buzzing sound.

    I rent DVDs from Black Dog or borrow from the library and occasionally watch stuff online.

    HORROR is probably 70% of my viewing. Docs and drama probably make up most of the balance.

    I watch a movie every day, sometimes two. In the evenings during the week and in the mornings on the weekend. What can I say? I don’t have cable….or much of a life!

    I usually watch movies by myself, but occasionally with a friend. Depends on the movie really, and the friend. Talking during a movie is generally a real no-no with me.

    I always sit mid-theatre on the aisle.

    Small popcorn and coke. I also finish my popcorn before the movie starts!

    Most of my theatre viewing is early evening. Prefer a matinee but don’t usually have that option with my particular theatre viewing choices.

    I loathe interruptions during a movie. I NEVER answer the phone when I am watching a movie. Drives my friends crazy!

    The bestest best theatre on the planet… http://www.cinematheque.bc.ca/
    The bestest best video store on the planet… http://blackdogvideo.bc.ca/

    • That theatre that you linked looks incredible. Are you going to see the Highway 61 movie? I’ve got a soft spot for highway 61, partially because of the tie to Dylan and partially because I lived on highway 61, on the scenic north shore, for a year. I loved every part of it.

      • goregirl

        You probably are not aware of this but watching at least one Bruce MacDonald film is actually a requirement for Canadian citizenship. I seen Highway 61 at the theatre when it came out. I am quite fond of Highway 61…especially Satan! I tend to reserve my Cinematheque experiences for older films I would never have the chance to see on the big screen otherwise. I will be seeing Méliès’ A Trip to the Moon and The Extraordinary Voyage this month. Next month is Svankmajer! Woohoo!

        • I laughed at your Bruce MacDonald line.

          I’ll be watching a bunch of Méliès as well this summer. One of the local universities has a huuuuge blowout of French films around Bastille Day, and they’re dedicating a day to Méliès.

  9. How many movies do you see in a typical month?
    It used to be more than that but now approx 10-12 or so.

    How many movies do you see in a theater in a typical year?
    Less than 10. My main problem is the fact that I live in French Canada and most of the pictures are dubbed. I prefer original soundtracks.

    Which devices do you use to watch movies? Television, tablet, smart phone, computer?
    Television and computer.

    How are you watching your movies at home? Do you use a dvd-by-mail service, video on demand, library, cable service/DVR, or other?
    Library, DVR, my DVD collection, and Open Culture.org.

    Which genres are the movies you watch?
    Any genre! Mostly classic films from the lists I want to complete. Read here the 1000 Greatest films of all time by They Shoot Pictures.

    What days of the week, and what time of the day, do you watch movies?
    Mostly at night and the day doesn’t really matters.

    Do you watch movies with family, friends, or by yourself?
    Alone in the dark or with my wife.

    While at the theatre, what is your seating preference? Aisle seat, middle of the row, front/ middle/ back of the theatre?
    Middle-middle. Not too far from the screen because I love to see the picture in its ensemble.

    Do you visit the concession stand when you go to the theatre?
    Sometimes I stop to get an overly salted popcorn.

    When you go to the theatre, do you attend matinées, mid-afternoon shows, evening shows, or the latest show possible?
    Latest show possible because when there is too much people I get distracted by the people talking and whispering.

    Do you have any rules about watching movies at home? For instance, do you make it a point to use the bathroom beforehand? Do you make popcorn for yourself, or some other snack? Watch during dinner? Watch while you’re going to bed? Turn off your phone?
    No real rule except that I close all windows to get only the sound of the movie.

    Is there anything else that you feel you should say about your movie-watching habits?
    That’s pretty much it!

  10. Vladdy

    About 20—sometimes 50, sometimes 1

    Used to be 20, now about 5

    DVD, DVR, streaming, even VHS

    Netflix DVD & Instant, Hulu Plus, Internet Archivem, youtube, TCM, FOX Movie Channel, Sundance, IFC; plan to join Facets soon

    Foreign (not really a genre, I know), classics (lots of silents lately), musicals, dramas, comedies, thrillers, historical epics, etc.

    Mostly late night (work evenings), also early afternoons if I have time

    Usually alone, sometimes with friends—but most of my friends don’t share my tastes and, if they do, have no patience for rewinding every time I doze off, which is constantly!

    I want to be close enough for the screen to fill my vision, but I like sitting in the middle for symmetry’s sake.

    If I go with my roommate, an enormous popcorn is de rigeur. Otherwise, I don’t waste my hard-earned money on last week’s shitty cardboard pellets for $8 or more.

    Any time is fine with me.

    I have no problems with pausing a movie. I used to hate it, but I have learned life is too short to expect the world to conform to your wishes. The phone will ring, and sometimes you have to answer it. A one-minute pause to pee isn’t that different from a five-minute pause to fix something to eat. (I’m a procrastinator, so if I don’t start a movie right when I feel like watching it, I’ll find a hundred reasons not to watch it at all.) Also, I will rewind if I feel I missed something, or if something is so hilarious it makes my soda come out of my nose.

    The above is just my usual. I’m really not that picky. I love watching classics (or new movies) with my just-become-teenage nephews. I don’t care if they talk all the way through because I’m sharing something I love with them, and they usually like the films too. And I like to watch movies that aren’t my genre with friends who love the genre—I feel like I get more out of them, like anime or some such. I can take advantage of their knowledge and appreciate the films more.

    • That’s great to hear about you and your nephews. I do a little bit of the same with my niece. One year, I conned her into watching the AFI Top 100. And I think she checked all of them off.

      Your line about the shitty cardboard pellets made me laugh. I’ve been doing so many of the smaller indie theaters lately, and they’re a huge step above with their concessions.

  11. – How many movies do you see in a typical month?
    About 10 to 12 movies a month is typical. I never really watched too many more than that, even when I had nothing to do all day.

    – How many movies do you see in a theater in a typical year?
    I don’t count them but I have been ramping up the number of times I go to the theater. Last year, probably a good 30-40 times.

    Which devices do you use to watch movies? Television, tablet, smart phone, computer?
    TV only.

    – How are you watching your movies at home? Do you use a dvd-by-mail service, video on demand, library, cable service/DVR, or other?
    Netflix.

    – What days of the week, and what time of the day, do you watch movies?
    Mostly evenings or late night

    – Do you watch movies with family, friends, or by yourself?
    I like to share the experience with someone, so most of the time with someone if possible.

    – Do you visit the concession stand when you go to the theater?
    Never

    When you go to the theatre, do you attend matinées, mid-afternoon shows, evening shows, or the latest show possible?
    Mostly matinees since it’s cheaper but for highly anticipated movies, anytime

  12. I’ve seen five movies already this month, all online, all cam copies, unfortunately. The theater is hours away so I don’t get to go very often. Maybe once a year if I’m lucky. I don’t have a problem about people watching copies online, especially if the movie is good, I’ll go out and buy the DVD. It’s the same with TV shows, I watched them online as well. I live in Greece.

    I watch most of the movies by myself when the kids are in bed. I’m not a huge fan of drama’s and romantic comedies. I’m more into the genres of fantasy, horror and thrillers.

    When I do get to the cinema , I prefer middle aisle, middle row. And I’ll always have a friend with me. I’ll buy a coke and popcorn (the only time I’ll eat it) I hate having kids in the cinema screaming at the hunk on the screen, so I’ll watch the latest showing.

    I’ve seen Avengers three times and it’s my favorite movie so far this year. I watched Cabin in the Woods last night and that was a unique horror, but you’ll need a bucket for the last half an hour,

    • Ah, you raise a great question that I didn’t ask (but should have), about seeing the same movie multiple times in theatres. I’ve done it a few times, but not very often.

  13. How many movies do you see in a typical month?
    I average around 20.

    How many movies do you see in a theater in a typical year?
    I get to the theater about 2-3 times per month, so I’ll split the difference and say 30 times a year.

    Which devices do you use to watch movies? Television, tablet, smart phone, computer?
    Mostly through my TV, either via DVD, Netflix or Hulu Plus instant streaming. Occasionally, for long plane/train rides, I will watch something on my smartphone.

    How are you watching your movies at home? Do you use a dvd-by-mail service, video on demand, library, cable service/DVR, or other?
    Oops, I just answered that. Mostly Netflix, I suppose.

    Which genres are the movies you watch?
    I will watch anything and everything, for the most part.

    What days of the week, and what time of the day, do you watch movies?
    The vast majority of my movie watching time is in the evening. Usually a DVD or two during the week, then maybe a trip to the theater on the weekend.

    Do you watch movies with family, friends, or by yourself?
    Lately I have been watching more movies by myself, but I also watch quite a few with my girlfriend. I am happy that she has been supportive of my 50 movies project, even taking in Coffy with me on a Saturday night. 🙂

    While at the theatre, what is your seating preference? Aisle seat, middle of the row, front/ middle/ back of the theatre?
    I hate sitting in the middle. I go for the aisle seat if possible, simply because I hate being shut in, and I don’t like the idea of getting up in front of others if I have to make an exit for any reason.

    Do you visit the concession stand when you go to the theatre?
    Once in a while, I will grab a snack and/or soda, but usually I just rough it.

    When you go to the theatre, do you attend matinées, mid-afternoon shows, evening shows, or the latest show possible?
    I dig matinees and early showings since they are cheaper and less populated. Midnight movies are fun, but I always hate heading back home at 2am. I feel like an old man sometimes.

    Do you have any rules about watching movies at home? For instance, do you make it a point to use the bathroom beforehand? Do you make popcorn for yourself, or some other snack? Watch during dinner? Watch while you’re going to bed? Turn off your phone?
    No specific rules, just try to catch it one sitting as well. Preferably with the lights off.

    Is there anything else that you feel you should say about your movie-watching habits?
    Nope, but this was a fun survey, and I agree with Tyler that it would make for an awesome blogathon!

    • Your girlfriend watched Coffy with you? This sounds like a serious relationship.

      You mentioned something in your seating preferences that I forgot to- not wanting to get up in front of people. That’s a big part of why I choose the aisle.

  14. Alex Withrow

    How many movies do you see in a typical month?
    At home and in theaters? Upwards of 50.

    How many movies do you see in a theater in a typical year?
    I’ve seen at least 90 new movies every year in the theater since 2000. But the number of theater trips is larger: watching movies a second or third time, catching classics on the big screen (like you), and so on. Hi, my name is Alex and I am a film addict.

    Which devices do you use to watch movies? Television, tablet, smart phone, computer?
    The bigger the screen, the better, but honestly, I’ll take whatever I can get. Sometimes with very hard-to-find obscure films, you have to take what you can get.

    How are you watching your movies at home? Do you use a dvd-by-mail service, video on demand, library, cable service/DVR, or other?
    Mostly actual DVDs, but I have Netflix Instant, Hulu Plus, HBOGO and OnDemand through my cable provider. Also, sometimes YouTube.

    Which genres are the movies you watch?
    Oh man, a better question for me is which ones I prefer NOT to watch, because I’ll watch damn near everything. Favorites are indie, foreign, obscure/surrealist, thrillers and bleak dramas. The bleaker the better.

    What days of the week, and what time of the day, do you watch movies?
    I work Monday-Friday, 8am-5:30pm. Other than that, there is a very very good chance I’m watching a film.

    Do you watch movies with family, friends, or by yourself?
    Makes no difference. Funny thing, whenever I get a new friend (or girlfriend) their movie tastes slowly start to shift after hanging out with me for a few months. I like to expand people’s horizons and push the limits of what film can do for them specifically.

    While at the theatre, what is your seating preference? Aisle seat, middle of the row, front/ middle/ back of the theatre?
    Wherever I think people won’t be talking and/or on their phones. Assholes.

    Do you visit the concession stand when you go to the theatre?
    Nope, I’m a health food junkie, I don’t touch that concessions stuff.

    When you go to the theatre, do you attend matinées, mid-afternoon shows, evening shows, or the latest show possible?
    Depends on the movie. Comedies play better with a packed house, so I may catch those when I know it’s going to be busy. If the film is supposed to be good, then I’ll go when I think it’ll be empty. Damn talkers.

    Is there anything else that you feel you should say about your movie-watching habits?
    Movies are my life. I am not identifiable as a person without film in my life.

    John, this was an excellent questionnaire. Thanks so much for letting us partake in it!

    • Wow, Alex, these are all great answers. You sort of have the same movie-watching experience as I do… but on steroids. 90 theater trips, 50+ a month… that blows me out of the water. You’re really, really dedicated. Awesome answers.

  15. Not being a regular commentator here,I’d be pleased to add one more set of data to your research,John.

    How many movies do you see in a typical month?
    20-30,that’s a quite stable range.

    How many movies do you see in a theater in a typical year?
    2-3 times if you believe me.They only show shit here in China 99% of the time.

    Which devices do you use to watch movies? Television, tablet, smart phone, computer?
    TV.”I’m gonna need a bigger screen” though.

    How are you watching your movies at home? Do you use a dvd-by-mail service, video on demand, library, cable service/DVR, or other?
    DVD/Blu-ray,I’m a perfectionist as a film buff.

    Which genres are the movies you watch?
    I’d watch anything I can get in hands,Arthouse films is my fave if you call that a genre.

    What days of the week, and what time of the day, do you watch movies?
    Nights from Monday to Friday,and weekend mornings.

    Do you watch movies with family, friends, or by yourself?
    With my wife most of the time,it’s really lucky to find a woman who can sit through a film with me no matter what I’m watching.

    While at the theatre, what is your seating preference? Aisle seat, middle of the row, front/ middle/ back of the theatre?
    Middle of the row,back of the theatre is my ideal position.

    Do you visit the concession stand when you go to the theatre?
    Nope,cinema is where I go to watch films,nothing else.

    When you go to the theatre, do you attend matinées, mid-afternoon shows, evening shows, or the latest show possible?
    It depends,as long as me&wife have time,I don’t care about when should we go.

    Is there anything else that you feel you should say about your movie-watching habits?
    I like to watch supplements in a dvd,sometimes listen to the commentary track,behind-the-scene stories sometimes even interest me more than the feature film.

    Thanks for the survey again,John,it’s fun enough just seeing others’ answer,let alone taking a role in it.

    • Thanks for the answers, David! It’s really great to get answers from China, because that’s a part of the world where I know zero about the movie experience.

  16. TheBestofAlexandra

    I love your sociology posts!

    How many movies do you see in a typical month?
    5-10 (1-3 per week) although that’s somewhat decreased because I mostly watch TV shows these days.

    How many movies do you see in a theater in a typical year?
    12ish (1ish per month)

    Which devices do you use to watch movies? Television, tablet, smart phone, computer? How are you watching your movies at home? Do you use a dvd-by-mail service, video on demand, library, cable service/DVR, or other?
    Netflix on my TV
    Which genres are the movies you watch?
    Almost always in the mood for thrillers (preferably 80-90s and film noir) and dramas (of the maudlin, fabulous-clothes variety)

    What days of the week, and what time of the day, do you watch movies?
    Any day during the evening

    Do you watch movies with family, friends, or by yourself?
    I like watching movies with friends, but I sometimes prefer watching alone so that I can watch whatever I want. My tastes often skew to the dark and surreal, but my friends prefer lamer fare. I used to love spending half an hour picking a crazy movie at Blockbuster and watching it alone so that I’d be free to watch all the extras and make screen caps of parts I liked and watch it with French subtitles if I wanted. I still do this with library movies, but it was so much fun at Blockbuster because of the garish lighting and the anonymity.

    While at the theatre, what is your seating preference? Aisle seat, middle of the row, front/ middle/ back of the theatre?
    Middle middle for me, if it’s a one-level. I really like theatres that are big enough to be split-level and have a break between the upper and lower auditorium. In this instance, I love to sit in the front row of the upper auditorium so it’s like I’m sitting in the front row (because I don’t have to see over anybody’s head) but I don’t have to sprain my neck. This is also a really good place because it’s easy to get out of if you need to run to the ladies’ room, and it’s where all the fun people sit–I’ve always had the best theatre interactions sitting in this spot with strangers who want to be flabbergasted about The Reader’s plot revelations with you and be scared of Anton Chigurh with you and be annoyed at The King’s Speech with you.

    Do you visit the concession stand when you go to the theatre?
    Once in a while I get a hankering for candy, but I usually eat beforehand.
    When you go to the theatre, do you attend matinées, mid-afternoon shows, evening shows, or the latest show possible?
    Matinées creep me out. I hate leaving a dark theatre and going into a bright parking lot.

    Do you have any rules about watching movies at home? For instance, do you make it a point to use the bathroom beforehand? Do you make popcorn for yourself, or some other snack? Watch during dinner? Watch while you’re going to bed? Turn off your phone?
    No hard and fast rules for this girl. Lights off, though.

    Is there anything else that you feel you should say about your movie-watching habits?
    I love talking during movies. In fact, there’s a particular movie theatre in town to which I’ve never gone without being shushed.

    • Ha… “maudlin, fabulous clothes variety”. That’s excellent.

      You bring up a great point about the death of the video store. There’s a lot to be said about just wandering around a bright store and fumbling around for movies until you find something that’s just right.

  17. Pingback: Duke & The Movies :: With A Little Help From My Friends

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