The DVD boom is having a major impact on cinema-going -but it is a positive one and probably more pronounced in Australia than in anyother territory.

"As DVD sales continue to grow, and as rental behaviourstays strong, more people - not less -are attending the cinema," Video Ezy chief executive Stephen Johnston tolddelegates at the Australian International Movie Convention. "DVD is encouragingpeople to get more involved in all things film. More dedicated DVD owners arevisiting cinemas now than 12 months ago, more are visiting at higher levels,and less people are not going to the cinema at all."

Drawing from recent research done across 13 territories byhis previous employer, 20th Century Fox, he said that 69% of people visitedcinemas in the six months under review. Those classified as heavy DVD userswent to the cinema 4.5 times, compared to the three visits per person acrossthe whole market.

He also noted that of all the people who rent movies or buymovies or go to the cinema, 41% of them enjoy all three ways of connecting withfilm, which is more than any other combination. Only 5%, for example, only goto the movies, only 9% only rent movies, and only 19% do both these things.

"DVDs are not keeping them out of the multiplexes. Ifanything it is encouraging them to participate more."