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Wednesday
Mar222006

28 Bucks?

99m.jpgThis 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.

I disagree.

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.

Reader Comments (3)

I agree with your last point. The only movies that are a worthwile for a movie-going experience come few and far between. For me, LOTR and Matrix and a few select others qualify. Otherwise, there's really no point in going to the theater.

Although, in defense of the theaters, going with a group of friends still creates a unique entertaining experience. Although not live, it does foster a specific environment.

I wonder how big chains like Marcus are doing financially right now. Perhaps their expensive food is making up for the loss in movie watchers.
March 23, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJordan Arentsen
Hello!

This is a lot of money for (family) entertainment. I go a lot to cinemas and refuse buying popcorn or Coke, because of the monopoly pricing...

In Austria a few years ago there was a wave of multiplex-cinemas closing down: ten people were sitting in an auditorium for over 200 people. Reason #1: too expensive -- even on Mondays. Reason #2: too many big cinemas being too expensive... Maybe you will see the same trend in the US as well?
April 2, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLo Szabo
You think that's bad, you ought to see prices out here. Try $10 apiece just for the tickets, plus another $12 or so for the food.
April 10, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterfiat lux

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