This past weekend, my wife and son went to see a matinee of the new film Curious George at a local theatre. It was a fun film which Nathan especially enjoyed seeing on the big screen. We bought 3 tickets, 1 large bin of popcorn and 1 large drink, which the three of us shared.
How much was the final cost? $28 for the three of us — for a matinee!
Had we chosen an evening showing, the price would have been $32! Come on movie industry, do you sincerely expect a family of 3 to spend around $10 each to see one of your films? Obviously, the answer is yes, but I think it's nuts.
We could have saved $10 by eating and drinking nothing, still, $18 for the three of us to see a matinee? Gimme a break. I could rent 4 or 5 movies for that price, pop my own popcorn and pour my own root beer.
In an related article, which I can't seem to locate right now, a movie industry exec suggested that movie price increases were right in line with other entertainment, such as sports and live plays.
With sports and live drama, I'm paying to see a real person, in the flesh, entertaining me in person. As much as film can be compelling, it's a recording of real people entertaining me — a huge difference!
No wonder attendance at theaters was down 9% in 2005, while DVD sales, Netflix subscriptions, video on demand, movies on the web and home theatre systems are gaining such popularity. People just like my family and me are getting fed up with high prices, and are being driven away from seeing films in theaters.
I love seeing film in person, but unless a film is spectacularly great, we just won't be visiting theaters to see first-run films.
It's just too expensive.