DStv BoxOffice snatching SA moviegoers

2012-04-19 15:41
Thinus Ferreira
Cape Town – DStv Box Office, MultiChoice's digital movie rental service, has been cited by local cinema chain Nu Metro as a contributing factor to growing pressure on movie attendance figures in the country.

This comes just eight months after the product's launch.

Nu Metro is closing its second movie cinema within a year - the Sunny Park cinema in Pretoria - citing poor foot traffic.

Fay Amaral, the managing director of Nu Metro, told Business Day that South African movie cinemas remain viable entertainment destinations. She however specifically highlighted MultiChoice's DStv Box Office digital movie rentals as one of the contributing factors now playing a definite role in adding competition to cinema attendance figures in South Africa.

Bruce Mubayiwa, social media coach at Chess Plains Media talked to Destiny Man magazine about the situation.

"The question I would have for Nu Metro is: To what extent have they embraced the new technology? If they were losing market share to the digital movie rental business, how flexible was their business model for tweaking? Are they flexible enough to consider making investments in the booming digital movie rental business?"

Cine Prestige launch

In a new attempt to lure more South African moviegoers, Ster-Kinekor Theatres, which no longer advertises its movie listings in daily and weekly newspapers, is launching Ster-Kinekor Cine Prestige in Johannesburg.

It is described as a "business class experience" cinema offering. The cinema boasts large leather recliner seats at R85 per ticket.

"With Cine Prestige, we are now able to reach an even wider market and are able to offer something unique and more sophisticated, loosely modelled on similar concepts seen in the UK and Australia," said Fiaz Mahomed, the CEO of Ster-Kinekor Theatres in a press statement.


  • Wayne - 2012-04-19 15:51

    I refuse to go the movies anymore, firstly if your want refreshments, they are extremely expensive, secondly in most cases I have experienced the staff serving you are useless, thirdly there is no control in the cinema, people texting on phones, taking phone calls, people bring babies into the movies and try placate them when they cry, and lastly there is no respect left for other people in cinemas as people have full conversations during the movie without any regard for other patrons. I have seen this worsen of the past few years. The establishment dont offer any service in improving the experience. I remember when there used to be ushers that ensured everybody could enjoy the movie experience. I'll rather watch movies at home thanks.

      sewsexy - 2012-04-19 15:59

      I also refuse to go to the movies - they have made it way too expensive - would rather sit at home in comfort, make my own popcorn and drink the beverage that I want.

      Dave - 2012-04-19 16:02

      I agree why must I go to movies and spend close to R200 for me and my partner, sit in half an hour of previews when i could rather rent a movie for R30 and relax on my couch?

  • dexter.sagar - 2012-04-19 15:57

    Do you know what would get more people into the cinemas again?\r\n\r\nHaving a better selection of films, a wider variety of genres. Especially with South African films... when has Skoonheid been in public cinemas? Or Yesterday? Or How to steal 2 million?\r\n\r\nI used to go to the cinema at least twice a month two years ago. Half price day were R10 a ticket. Full price was R20. But the prices these days are just too much for a student to go and enjoy films in the cinema.\r\n\r\nI get that there needs to be films that attract the larger films... though promotion is also a big key. I only found out about Material after it was released two weeks prior in cinemas.\r\n\r\nAnd DSTV doesn't have THAT big an audience to see the drop in numbers in the cinemas.... It's probably the internet itself that is taking away your audience or DVD lending.

      mollie.kruger - 2012-04-19 16:19

      Your Carriage Return, Newline thingies are not working.

  • george.bennie - 2012-04-19 16:00

    Why pay R50 for a crappy seat and mostly self-service, when I can spend R25 in my own couch (dolby sound) in comfort. U did this to yourselves...expensive except on tuesdays. Smacks of collusion.

  • Damien - 2012-04-19 16:05

    Well if NuMetro dropped their prices slightly and had better service maybe people would be more willing to go to the cinema

  • Sook - 2012-04-19 16:20

    If cinemas would realise we are not all deaf, then maybe more of us would go. Many a movie is spoilt by ear splitting sound. Louder is not always better.

  • J-Man - 2012-04-19 16:22

    R85 to watch a movie in a "large leather recliner seat"... I can do that on my couch at home. For (almost) free. No Thanks.

  • Stuart Ross Wason - 2012-04-19 16:23

    Always better on the Big Screen but not for what you are being charged nowadays. I am a father of two (8 & 4) and for us all it is always great to enjoy a movie on the Big Screen, especially for my children. For what we are paying for four people and then snacks on top of it, running into a couple or several hundred Rand, it is absolutely absurd when in the comfort of your own home and for a measly amount to watch a latest release there is just no comparison. I don't think they should be focusing so much on DSTV taking business away from them, rather they should be making this an affordable experience as well as improving the service quality, an absolute rip-off in my option & they are the only one's to blame for their current predicament. You can only rip your customers for so long until a cheaper and more viable option removes you from being a monopoly, very applicable to many businesses in South Africa. Can't remember when last I was at the Cinema & don't see myself going with pricing the way it currently is, what is better for business charging ridiculous prices with no one through the doors and shutting down Cinemas that cost a fortune or charging reasonable prices and boosting your customer intake and not shutting down, think they really need to reassess their current business plan.

  • jans.steyn - 2012-04-19 16:25

    A trip to the movies for a family of four, with popcorn and drinks easily costs over R250. That does not even include parking (R8) and petrol (R40 if you stay 5km from the theatre). If you're lucky you end up paying less than R300. For that price I'd rather BUY the Bluray since the kids will watch it several hundred times in any case. For R25 my wife and I can watch a BoxOffice movie after the kids have gone to bed. 80% of the movies showing at NuMetro are not suitable for kids under 16 in any case.

      Fredster - 2012-04-20 07:33

      You forgot to include toll fees. I just drove to George (1200km) and went through 3 tolls. Now I am going to work 28km and going through 3 tolls... LOL. I would rather go to the movies

  • stefandv - 2012-04-19 16:37

    We love going to the movies, but the refreshments are WAY too expensive, and there is always the box with a cellphone, or can't keep his opinions to himself. R25 to rent a movie for 2 days: Bargain!

  • The-third - 2012-04-19 16:57

    Well. Your prices are too high (especially the snacks) and people are just not going to pay for it. Has VERY LITTLE to do wit Boxoffice. Anyone with access to that service will tell you the selection is poor and does not change often. They movies become available when DVDs become available which basically blows this theory out the water. What nonsense.

  • Francis - 2012-04-19 18:03

    DSTv are not the problem or cause of dwindling attendance figures. The problem is pricing pure and simple. The ticket costs, and even more so the prices at the concession stands, are prohibitive to most families with children. All of the other issues addressed in comments are personal to the poster, but I guarantee that if you address the pricing issues the people will come back.

  • maggsie - 2012-04-19 18:10

    Hogwash, that's what this is! DSTV Box Office is not taking business from cinemas. The movies on Box Office are not the latest movies but rather movies which have been released on DVD. Hence these movies would have ceased being screened on the big screen. The only ones to blame are themselves. The ticket prices are exorbitant, a regular ticket is at least R45 with a 3D ticket fetching for R65. How can you then be suprised that foot traffic is low? I won't even get started on the prices of their snacks. The ordinary South African loves going out to watch movies on the big screen, yet at the same time, the ordinary South African cannot afford the ticket. Sure the business needs to remain profitable but would you rather have and empty cinema charging exorbitant prices or a packed cinema, charging reasonable prices?

  • maggsie - 2012-04-19 18:11

    Hogwash, that's what this is! DSTV Box Office is not taking business from cinemas. The movies on Box Office are not the latest movies but rather movies which have been released on DVD. Hence these movies would have ceased being screened on the big screen. The only ones to blame are themselves. The ticket prices are exorbitant, a regular ticket is at least R45 with a 3D ticket fetching for R65. How can you then be suprised that foot traffic is low? I won't even get started on the prices of their snacks. The ordinary South African loves going out to watch movies on the big screen, yet at the same time, the ordinary South African cannot afford the ticket. Sure the business needs to remain profitable but would you rather have and empty cinema charging exorbitant prices or a packed cinema, charging reasonable prices?

      Ze Don - 2012-04-19 18:16

      So true! Another problem I have, specifically with Nu-Metro, is the condition of the seating in the cinemas.

  • echowles - 2012-04-19 18:46

    Ok so we all know that the prices are ridiculous, especially for the snacks. However, what makes the experience far worse for me is the movie staff. They are some of the most unfriendly people I've ever met. The people serving the snacks and drinks are never friendly. Most of them glare at you if you order something that is more than an arm's length away because they have to move. They never smile and most of the time speak very poorly - I almost always need to ask them to repeat themselves. Oh and they NEVER smile. The other day I went to watch a 3D movie at Nu Metro, Canal Walk. The ticketing service was terribly slow so eventually we left the queue and used the self service booking machine. Of course it doesn't dispense the 3D glasses, so we then asked one of the staff that were standing around where we could find them. He told us to give him the money for them and he went and fetched them for us - then continued to complain that we didn't give him a tip? With Ster Kinekor, Bayside - don't even get me started. Half the time they don't have any aircon or airflow going through on a hot summer day and you end up walking out the movie because you can't breath and are dripping with sweat. I have DSTV on-demand and honestly thank goodness. I'm more than happy to wait several months for the movie to be relased on dvd and on-demand rather than go through our crappy local cinema service.

      Warren - 2012-04-19 20:42

      I own a franchise take-away & the hardest thing on earth to find is FRIENDLY cashiers. I went through 13 trainees (Black, White & Indian) just recently before I finally signed a contract with the 14th applicant. She constantly comes late but hey, at least she greets my customers.

      Graeme - 2012-04-21 10:23

      @Warren The problem is cashiers are basic wage earners! So getting quality staff in this pay grade is very hard and keeping them/motivating is even harder. The same can be said about call centre staff! G

      Warren - 2012-04-21 16:37

      @ Graeme: Yep, customers always want the highest quality service from minimum wage cashiers while paying the lowest possible price.

      tiaan.laubscher - 2013-01-04 12:53

      @ Warren. At our business we pay our cashiers above the basic wage as we see them playing a vital role in our business. they greet our customers every day with a smile and always friendly, but we also went through a few cashiers, lucky for us not 13.

  • Barefoot - 2012-04-19 19:20

    Nu-Metro Sunnypark was definitely competing with Sterland (Sterkinekor), due to their close proximity, it's clear Sterland won they are even revamping their whole cinema

      Masala Ramabulana - 2012-04-20 06:43

      Sterland close long ago

  • grant.henry1 - 2012-04-19 20:10

    Such Bull, I hope all the cinimas close down. How on earth can you blame DStv not that I am a fan of them either but grow up. Its your high prices that are keeping people from coming to the cinima and your rude emlployees. I am very proud to say I pay for uncapped internet @ 219 a month and I dowload like there is no tomorrow. At least 10 new movies every weekend and I watch it on a 60 inch 3D screen and a 7.2 surround sound. Who needs Nu Metro or Ster Kinikor and DStv.

      maggsie - 2012-04-19 21:25

      soooo, would you mind sharing some of the sites you're sourcing your movies from? :-)

      Graeme - 2012-04-21 10:25

      Or the law, guess you not buying these from online retailers but stealing them off pirate web sites? G

  • matodes - 2012-04-19 21:03

    firstly stuff coming from hollywood isnt worth the 100 bucks im gona spend on a ticket and popcorn… the main factor is sunny park people will much rather buy a pirated dvd fr 10 bucks on the side of the road than go and watch a movie… that goes for alot of areas as well…. get rid of the pirated dvd's, half yur problem is already solved…. for the brightsparks out there… go to any chinese market, oriental plaza or flea market and you will find the pirated dvd sellers… stop them, that simple

      William - 2012-05-12 05:59

      What's actually sad is the fact that those who are selling the illegal merchandise which are hurting our economy and adding to unemployment are illegal African foreigners. Its as if government are protecting these criminals.

  • Sbusiso - 2012-04-19 21:36

    R85 fo 1n half hour-hell no,go DSTV

  • robertleericketts - 2012-04-19 23:23

    I think the cinemas have all shot themselves in the foot with this 3D nonsense, based on the success of Avatar. Whilst it looked pretty in 3D, it was not a good film. No film released in 3D since has had the same impact as Avatar, has it? It must have cost a fortune to install the equipment. Cinemas are sadly a bad experience these days. If they would install cellphone blockers in the theatre that might make it better - anyone who needs to be contacted that urgently probably shouldn't be sat in a cinema to begin with.

  • rudolf.earle - 2012-04-20 07:48

    to go to the movies these days you need to take out a loan.

  • george.moolman - 2012-04-20 07:49

    NuMetro needs to get off their high horse! I love going to the movies, or did at least until the prices sky rocketed to the price of a decent meal in an upmarket restaurant. Gone are the days of dinner and a movie... pick one. I recently complained to NuMetro at Canal Walk about the dispicable condition of their movie house, when a rat ran across the tops of the chairs during a movie causing mild panic. Rats are common due to the food on the floor, but no effort is made to seal the openings. Further more have you ever stayed to watch the cleaners? Do yourself a favor, one broom sweep over chair and next. The chairs falling apart, sticky, crummy. I am willing to pay high fee's to ensure better service and a cleaner and more enjoyable experience, but that is not the case at present. Oh, they responded to my letter... no apology, no compensation, just in excuses spelling out "sh*t happens".

  • Grant - 2012-04-20 10:32

    I don't know anyone who has boxoffice (they don't want to pay for movies that they'll have to pay for again when it comes on dstv) but I do know alot of people who watch pirated copies. Thats what the cinemas should be complaining about. IMHO nothing beats the big screen though I still go at least once a month especially to watch epic movies.

      Mncedi - 2012-05-12 10:42

      Noted and applauded...if I were to add Sports on to Big Screen/Cinema,how often would you visit the Cinema?

  • derrick.vanniekerk - 2012-04-20 16:07

    Well if they would get their act together (excuse the pun). South African cinema's is in a horible state. 90% of the cinema's never calibrate their sound, the projectionist aren't even in the room to see that every thing looks good in focus and lined up. No one stops people from being an iritation to the rest of the moviegoers, and they then wonder wy we have a problem spending R200 (two people with snacks) to watch a movie there? umm. let me think about it..

  • Mncedi - 2012-05-12 10:56

    What if a more complete package was given in a sense of pricing,better temp/control of audio and Sports inside cinema...\r\nSport Gaming in Cinema...PS3/X-Box...Live viewing of Sports...\r\nEngage this pls.

  • pmahlangu - 2013-01-04 12:38

    Wait the Nu Metro in Sunny Park was gonna close eventually, it was hidden in a corner there with banks, only people who knew it could find it, there was advertising that there's a cinema within the mall and they blame Dstv lol. Also Cinemas need to be aware of people who work at the cinemas, there's this thing of bypassing ticket sales whereby they will let you pass into the cinema with a small fee paid to the security people. That i feel is probably one of the other factors...

  • frans.delport - 2013-01-04 12:53

    Adapt or die Nu Metro.

  • Ian - 2013-01-07 11:29

    I agree 100 percent with what most people have said below. There is no control of what people do in the cinema, the airconditioning is either too cold or not working, people are talking on on thier cell phones or just shouting out comments or making a noise. the ticket prices are ridiculous and often the technical projection is not in sync or not calibrated. People walk in and out because they come from one show that has finished and go see the end of another movie, and no one stops them. The first half hour is adverts or forthcoming attractions. I remember the movie business went through this same situation many years ago and they launched smaller cinemas with reasonable prices, and people started going back to movies, but now the prices are too restrictive.If you take into account teh fact that you hav eto pay for your tickets, your snacks which are 3 time sthe normal price, your parking at teh shopping centre and petrol to get there, I say go DSTV and may Nu Metro and Ster Kinekor see thier asses unless they change thier business models.

  • fotogareth - 2013-01-07 12:09

    damn right, I was absolutely shocked to have to pay R100 for 2 movie tickets on a Sunday at a Nu Metro, now Nu Metro is asking why are they closing down, Holy Crap man. I earn a half decent salary and I baulk at having to pay that amount of money.

  • danie.bantjes - 2013-01-07 13:18

    As a movie fanatic, I am sad to see no positive comments about going to the cinema. However, as I am able to enjoy the benefits of only paying R19 for a movie ticket (not 3D) through Vitality I do have sympathy with those families having to pay full price. I also agree on the insane cost of snacks. Despite this and also having BoxOffice and all the bells and whistles to watch movies properly at home, our family's weekly trip to the cinema is our way of "escaping" from reality for 2 hours. We normally go to either the Irene Mall or Brooklyn Ster Kinekor theatres and I must say we only have fantastic experiences. Clean cinema's and rest rooms, friendly staff, well airconditioned, comfy seats, good sound, no annoying movie goers and at Brooklyn Noveaux even self help snacks, which is a brilliant concept! In terms of 3D, we love the technology and is always amazed at the quality. We have no problem paying a premium for this type of entertainment. So personally, my family loves the cinema and we cannot wait for a Friday to see which new movies have been released!

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