Movie sites versus theater sites. What do you visit?

I went to see Paranormal Activity last week (a must-see thriller, by the way, for the story in the movie and the story behind the movie).

There were 167.4 previews of upcoming attractions before PA began, and each one of them ended with the customary web address that I could visit to get more info on each movie.

As I heard website after website, I asked myself two questions:

1.  Why do movie sites use dashes so often?  (e.g. www.paranormalactivity-movie.com)  Is it because they are late on getting the domains?  (shame, shame, you should have read this, movie companies).  Is it because they believe the rumor that the words broken by dashes helps your SEO?

2.  Why don’t I visit movie sites before seeing a movie?

This was the big one.

I spend hours in front of my computer.  And before I do anything these days, from taking a trip to buying a fan to choosing interns, I’m googling everything I can about the subject at hand, and visiting the primary website for said subject.

Except for movies.

Huh.

I go to show websites all the time, though.  Weird.  Well, maybe not so weird.  I’m in the business, right?  Of course I visit show websites more often than movie websites.

Maybe that’s why. Or maybe not.  I’m confused!

So let’s ask people not in the business!

I wanted to ask the general theatergoing public what they did before seeing movies and shows, so with a little help from my friends at Audience Rewards, we posed the following questions to a bunch of audience members who see both movies and theater, and here are the results:

Before seeing a movie, do you visit a movie’s website?

Only 6% said all the time.

Before seeing a show, do you visit a show’s website?

23% said all the time.

Quite a difference.

Why such a difference?  Is it because the places to buy tickets for movies (e.g. Fandango, Moviefone, etc.) have all the info we need, and then some?  Is it because a movie ticket is so cheap, audience members don’t feel the need to do as much research since there’s not as much at risk?

I’m not sure.

But one thing I am sure about . . . if 23% of our audience members are visiting a website before seeing a show, we better make sure our websites are kickin’.  We have a huge opportunity to not only convert a customer, but to keep a customer.

What about you?  Do you visit movie sites with more/less or the same frequency that you visit theater sites?

Let’s do our own survey in the comment section of this blog (email subscribers, visit here to comment).

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