Curzon Home Cinema sees premium VOD revenue soar 97%
James R | On 31, Jan 2019
Curzon Home Cinema has seen Premium VOD revenue soar in the last year, as more people turn to Curzon’s digital platform to watch movies.
The company, which is both a distributor and exhibitor, operates a chain of cinemas across the UK, but also powers its own video on-demand service to release films online on the same day as they are released on the big screen.
Streaming a film from Curzon costs £12-10 on the same day as it’s released in cinemas, and this Premium VOD model has seen Curzon Home Cinema achieve a 97 per cent increase in revenue year-on-year.
PVOD income via Curzon Home Cinema now accounts, on average, for 10 per cent of the total film rental income for films released on Curzon’s own distribution label. All Curzon films are released simultaneously in cinemas and on Curzon Home Cinema. Highlights for 2018 included Pawel Pawlikowski’s three-time Oscar-nominated Cold War, Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or winner The Square and Sebastian Lelio’s Disobedience, starring Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams (pictured above).
Crucially, streaming success has not come at the expense of cinema attendance. Box office at Curzon cinemas, including new venues in Oxford and Colchester, was up 8.6 per cent in 2018. On a like for like basis, excluding new venues, Curzon box office was up 3.9 per cent, tracking above the UK market average.
Curzon CEO Philip Knatchbull says that he was “massively encouraged” by the 2018 growth.
“It is really exciting to see the growing numbers of people engaging with Curzon both at home and in our destination venues,” comments Knatchbull.
“Quality independent and foreign language films have to battle for screen space and media attention in an extremely competitive market. The day-and-date strategy means these films can find a larger and more engaged audience by being able to focus their marketing and publicity activity to one moment. Curzon puts these films front and centre both in our venues and on Curzon Home Cinema.”
2019 will see new Curzon venues open in Hoxton and Kingston, but the data from Curzon’s operations suggest that in a “rapidly changing marketplace”, “customers want access to film whenever, wherever, however they choose”. Curzon’s success, he argues, is from the trust that its customers have in the cinema chain, which “allows [them] to cut through where others can’t”.
“We can see from our own venues that, at a premium price, streaming is not in conflict with theatrical but supportive of it. Film fans, regardless of their access to cinemas, want to share in conversations around film as they happen,” he concludes. “It is those conversations, online and offline, that drive the success of a film.”