Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Movie Rentals and the Great Decline

And so on .... one of the 'hobbies' Greta and I have are watching movies or films as we call them.  Ever since our first Netflix delivery in 2004 (more precisely, 12/12/2003) - we've seen a lot of movies and I'd wager we've purchased even more.  Since I'm an analyst and anything worth doing is worth doing with charts - I'm showing you how triathlon (and likely kids) impacts the lives of those around you as scientifically correlated to DVD Movie Rental History!

(At this point Courtenay (a savage Lorpeedo blogging fan) rolls eyes, falls out of seat and groans.) 

The first chart below is what I'd say was a seasonal trend of our rental history from 2004-2008 by month.  What you see is not surprising a big spike in January and a higher volume in the 'cooler' months.  The summer obviously filled with NASCAR races, so no time for DVDs.  What you might be yelling at your screen right now is 'well what about that obvious spike in may'.  I turned my Netflix rental history into a pivot table and parsed out the movies by month - as you probably are thinking, it must be simply a solid month for films.  You're right.  I don't know about DVD releases, but it's possible that more movies are released in May or possibly April and likely another culprit (or maybe that's when the good movies are out). 


Films like Bob Roberts, Bloody Sunday, Meet the Fockers, Shopgirl Spanglish, and The Aquatic Life ... were all movies from our May rental history (not to mention, but I will, Sex Feet Under Season 5). 

Where's this decline you're now thinking?  Shouldn't there be a picture of Sada, Piper or Ben at this point in the post.  Nope. another chart.


Above is a chart of our DVD rental history by # of movies per month by year.  I started training in May of 2006 - below are the aggregate # of movies per year.  This chart, my wife would posit is exactly a correlation to how much fun I am.  A tremendous amount of fun in 2004 (we had 1 kid), a barrel full of monkeys fun in 2005 (we had another kid) and then THE GREAT DELCLINE - somewhere in 2006 we moved or started to - finally landing in March 2007.  Also in there is The Fountainhead which was all consuming for the 3-4 months it took me to read it. 


You could believe that or you could look at the QUALITY of films available in each year (maybe it's not the quality but the DVD choices we made).  I do think we're missing a bunch, but perhaps that was our overlapping blockbuster rentals I simply don't have.  Below are some of my favorite rentals (hoping that this post one-ups Greg's recent posts by a long-shot - or maybe they're complementary) by year. 


  • Six Feet Under Season 1 & 2
  • Dirty Pretty Things
  • Bob Roberts
  • Along Came Polly
  • Dinner for Five: Season 1
  • Journeys with George
  • The Stepford Wives (original)
  • Elf
  • Marathon Man
  • Saved!
  • Nip Tuck Season 1
  • Waiting for Guffman
  • Play Misty For Me


  • Sideways
  • Nip Tuck Season 1 & 2
  • The Manchurian Candidate
  • Spanglish
  • Miami Vice Season 1
  • Six Feet Under Season 4
  • Mondovino
  • Bad Santa
  • The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
  • Downfall


  • Broken Flowers
  • Roll Bounce
  • Six Feet Under Season 5
  • Shopgirl
  • Friends with Money
  • Miami Vice Season 1
  • 30 Days Season 1
  • Nip Tuck Season 3
  • Waiting…
  • Happy Endings
  • Wild Strawberries


  • Thank You For Smoking
  • Nip Tuck Season 4
  • Talledega Nights
  • Little Miss Sunshine
  • Disney Princess Stories: Vol. 2: Tales of Friendship

Lastly, is Netflix a good deal? - not really for us.  Based on the chart below (avg cost of a movie by year), you have to watch a lot of movies (on avg of 7.25 movies per month in order to keep the cost of a movie under $3).  In 2004 we avg. 6.25, 2005, 7.25, 2006 5.5 and so on.  What I didn't know is that for selected films/shows you CAN stream them to your PC via Netflix.  This COULD be more compelling but when you've got kids who watch the same movies over and over, Netflix is a tough sell.


I promise that tomorrow I'll post something funny or will talk about Salmonella or HOW I BEAT SODA ON OUR 1.2 MILE SWIM TODAY.  You'll also note how there really isn't any correlation to my training or racing volume, so you'll have to trust that there is a correlation to a busy life that has seen a degradation in movie watching priority and all of the other stuff I do.  The good news, is that we're slowing catching up on some DVD watching and that I AM fun and I can read books without pictures.  I like Greta lots and hope she thinks this whole post makes me cute as heck.

and so.


Anonymous said...

ok I was just going to comment "wow you must have NOTHING to do at work, can I have your job?" but that last little jibe hurt. I am sorry my only excuse is I swam (or rather had my butt worked over) 5000 yards last night and I am tired. Not to mention I HATE WET SUITS they make me swim slow, especially when it is your mom's and she is shorter than you!

Loren Pokorny said...

1) this post took me 3 days to write, about 20 - 30 mins a day (my ferry commute is 20).
2) be glad it was a short comment. At least Ben isn't writing an ENTIRE POST About you.
3) I knew there would be something about a wetsuit in your comment
4)Congrats on getting through the post
5) Thanks for babysitting the kids tomorrow.
6) I should apologize for teasing you. I don't think I have swam 5k in a week, let alone 1 night.
7) I take pride in beating anyone, so whether you've got cancer and haven't ridden in 4 months or swam 2 miles last night, I'll take the victory.

Ian said...

You have way tooooo much time on your hands

Kelly said...

wow. i kind of want to see 'SEX FEET UNDER'. you should get the blockbuster version of netflix, its pretty good and you can get movies in the store if you're into that kind of thing.

and i thought the graphs were awesome. i LIKE graphs, so ignore soda and probably courtenay when she reads this

Greta said...

this still doesn't get you out of cleaning the garage this weekend.

Anonymous said...

I didn't say I wasn't amused by the post, I like graphs they explain things better than words for me plus they make the page more interesting. I was just saying I barely have time to post, well maybe not lack of time but lack of attention span. If I could post more easily from my phone I would.

Courtenay said...

there is WAY TOO MUCH to groan about here (i am not talking about the pretty graphs).

i can't even deal.

the one thing that saves this whole thing is your veiled acknowledgment that greg's "rainy day movies" posts are unbearably unbearable.

Anonymous said...

I like this post and I'm choosing to ignore any such veiled comments that might coexist in what is otherwise an interesting read. Six Feet Under is amazing and terrific, I've seen the whole thing at least twice, I really can't hyperbolize it enough.