What is the better viewing experience? Customizable entertainment at home

What is the better viewing experience? Customizable entertainment at home

A cozy couch, homemade snacks, subtitles and your preferred volume and brightness. That’s a movie-watching environment some may prefer over a one-size-fits-all theater setup.

“Movies are being consumed in an entirely different way than ever before,” wrote Caelan Corkery in The Dartmouth.  “The traditional pastime of taking the family to see a movie at the theater has swiftly transformed to sitting at home, with the choice of any movie at the consumer’s fingertips.”

The Netflix app or website can be opened on different devices at any moment and can also be mirrored onto larger platforms, a good match for those who either want to watch a movie at the last minute or plan out a time to connect the film to a larger screen.

Photo illustration by Joe Alvarado.

In a June 2020 study, 14 percent of adults indicated their strong preference for watching a movie for the first time in a theater and 36 percent said they would rather be at home streaming the film than visit a cinema, according to the Statista Research Department. It was noted that COVID-19 impacted consumer confidence.

Watching movies on Netflix is also conducive to language learners, who can filter for movies in their target language and choose from subtitles in multiple languages. Even in theaters outside the U.S., movies are sometimes shown in Original Voice (typically English) with subtitles matching the local language, so in the U.S.—other than limited-time film festivals or specific theaters—it is often not easy to enjoy a movie in a language other than English.

In the time period of 2003 to 2017, 1,728 non-English language movies were released (18.8 percent of all movies released), according to Stephen Follows Film Data and Education.

Another consideration in favor of streaming is cost. The per-month price of Netflix ranges from $6.99 to $22.99 and an adult ticket for one movie at a local AMC Theatre is $24.99.

“Netflix got us hooked on paying for our entertainment à la carte on a monthly basis and this is what younger generations are now used to,” wrote Dana Feldman in Forbes. “Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and the soon-to-be streaming services from Apple and Disney, in addition to the fact home setups are becoming more affordable, is forcing theater chains to update the way in which they do business.”

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