Study: Canadians Prefer Watching Movies on Small Screens

Canadians love Hollywood movies — but not in movie theaters

Forget what you heard about TV series like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black making Netflix successful. At least not in Canada.

A report on Canadian media viewing habits suggests consumers favor watching effects-heavy Hollywood movies on their TV sets or tablets, rather than at the local multiplex. The study, "How Canadians Select Audiovisual Content," said most movies are watched in the home, with comedies and action fare preferred as viewers covet entertainment and relaxation.

Besides the living room couch, Canadians are increasingly turning to VOD, Netflix and other streaming sites for movie and TV fare. That's in part because Canadians surveyed during focus groups in four cities expressed frustration with domestic broadcasters limiting free access to the latest episodes of popular TV series.

"Unrestricted content has a better chance of being watched," the report said. Netflix launched in Canada in late 2010 and now dominates online video with around 4 million subscribers.

And when Canadians do go to the multiplex, on average as infrequently as every three months "due to the cost of the outing," they prefer Hollywood comedies and action films.

French-language movies from Quebec fared better in recognition and popularity among the focus groups than English-speaking Canadian movies, the report found. "Canada’s English-language (film) industry is poorly known and burdened by prejudices (conservative, rural, not innovative)," it added.

The study was commissioned by Telefilm Canada, SODEC and Canada Media Fund, all major funders of homegrown Canadian media content.