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Last Updated: Friday, 17 June, 2005, 09:56 GMT 10:56 UK
Americans 'prefer' DVDs to cinema
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of The Sith
The new Star Wars movie is the year's biggest hit
Most Americans would now rather watch films at home than at the cinema, a poll has suggested.

Seventy three per cent of adults said they preferred watching movies at home on DVD, video or pay-per-view to going to a cinema.

The survey of 1,000 adults also found that 47% said films were getting worse.

The results come as the US box office experiences its worst slump in 20 years. The number of cinema-goers has dropped for the last two years running.

Just 22% of people said they would rather see films at the cinema, in the survey for the Associated Press news agency and AOL News.

A quarter of those surveyed said they had not been to a cinema in the past year. On the plus side, a third of people believed movies are getting better.

Eighty per cent said they used a DVD player at home.

Current slump

Despite high profile releases like Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, Hollywood's domestic revenues for 2005 are down 6.4% on the same period in 2004.

Ticket sales reached a modern record of 1.63 billion in 2002 but have fallen since, down to 1.51 billion in 2004.

At the current rate, admissions for 2005 could total 1.34 billion, the lowest since 1996.

Around four billion tickets were sold each year before television eroded Hollywood's dominance.

DVD sales and rentals totalled $21.2bn (11.62bn) in 2004, more than double the domestic revenues at cinemas, according to the Digital Entertainment Group.

Movies took $9.4bn (4.9bn) at the US domestic box office last year, compared to $9.2bn (4.8bn) in 2003. The rise was attributed to an increase in ticket prices.

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