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The NYU Cinema Research Institute brings together innovators in film and media finance, production, marketing, and distribution to imagine and realize a new future for artist-entrepreneurs. 

A team, two visits, and the hunt for data


A team, two visits, and the hunt for data

Michelle Ow

the ducks

Elastic Movies has a team! The goal is to build a demo prototype by mid-July and we kick things off in earnest next week. We've got an NYU Poly student  from the Integrated Digital Media, two ITPers (one current, one graduated), and one Stern student (myself). Concurrent to our work building a dynamic pricing app, I am trying to procure more data about attendance. Not just daily attendance by movies, but also, the number that go at any given point of day. Visits to theaters have yielded interesting, anecdotal research about the movie theater business. However, we still need more data! In addition to continuing to reach out to theaters, I will also be reaching out to Rentrak.

Some recent learnings:

  • People who jump from movie to movie, but pay only once are called "hoppers." Pre-assigned seating makes it easier for staff to find hoppers.
  • Most of the people that come before 12 pm are the elderly and regulars. 12-2 pm moviegoers are killing time. 4 pm onward is the post-work crowd. A lot of couples attend from 8 pm onward.
  • As expected, big event movies draw larger online ticket sales. Competitors, though, also impact a consumer's decision to pre-buy. The fewer competitors around you, the more market power you have, the more likely consumers are to pre-buy for big movies. It is more difficult to find another nearby movie theater that might be playing that same big movie.