Category: 

Why are Movie Tickets So Expensive?

Rising production costs and declines in attendance have driven the price of movie tickets up.
Many people still enjoy the social experience of viewing a film at a theater.
As of 2012, the average price of a movie ticket in the United States was $8.12.
Movie theater refreshments, such as soda and popcorn, can be expensive.
Movie tickets.
Article Details
  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 13 March 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
Solar energy currently harnessed for electricity represents less than one-tenth of 1% of global energy production.  more...

April 21 ,  1509 :  Henry VIII became the king of England.  more...

The rising costs of movie tickets and concession items have many staying at home rather than attending movies at theaters. A survey conducted by the American Association of Retired People show that 40% of seniors no longer attend films because they can no longer afford the prices. When fewer tickets are sold, it tends to cause some panic to movie executives, who earn most of the profits from their sale. Fewer people going to films, and increasing expense of making films, both contribute to higher prices for admission.

The average price for a movie ticket in 2012 is $8.12 US dollars (USD). Popcorn costs about $6 USD, and a drink, about $4 USD. Thus, the average expense at a theater is nearly $20 USD. For a family of four, that’s close to $80 USD for two hours of entertainment.

Consumers can buy a DVD player for approximately $40 USD or less and a DVD rental for as little as $1.50 USD. Popcorn and soda for a family costs about $10 USD when bought at a supermarket or convenience store. That’s $54 USD for a family movie night at home, plus there's not charge for gas or parking. Since the family now owns the DVD player, the next movie night may cost about $14 USD. Blu-ray™ player prices have dropped as well, to less than $100 USD for some models.

Ad

The expense of concession stands has much to do with the way in which movie studios are reimbursed by local theaters. In the first week of a film’s release, the studio may make as much as 90% of the revenue from sales of movie tickets. So while admission is high, it doesn't benefit the theater tremendously. Each subsequent week, the film brings greater revenue to the theater, so when a consumer goes to see a second run film, he or she is usually giving more money to the theater and less to the studio.

Many people question whether the studios need to charge so much. Some of the best films are made on fairly low budgets, and not all high budget films are huge hits. In general, a studio makes up for its losses on high budget films by earning higher returns than expected on low budget films.

While actors make a great deal of money, they are not the only reason for high cost of movie tickets. Movie goers who take the time to read the end credits of a film will see the huge numbers of people employed by large productions, from gaffers, to film assistants, to animators, to casting assistants, to art or set designers. Many of these people work in unions that set specific prices for the job they do. This means that budgets for films that require a large number of employees are typically going to be very expensive.

This does not mean, of course, that studios don’t turn a profit, and the largest studios do make a great deal of money. Since people are seeing fewer films in the theater, however, ticket prices often reflect the increasing gamble studios take when producing a high budget film.

Many people in the US simply can’t keep up with prices of movie tickets, however. A 16-year-old making minimum wage must work nearly four hours to afford to see a film and buy something at the concession stand. Admission to a movie for a poorer family might be 10% of that family’s weekly income. To an increasing number of people, the cost of seeing the film in a theater is too high to pay for entertainment, especially when film rental is significantly less expensive.

It is a matter of speculation as to whether theater owners and studios will catch on and drop prices, but most experts find it to be unlikely. Most people now budget deliberately and stick to matinee performances, or go on “cheap nights.” Popular films usually aren’t included in these discount nights unless they have been running for several months, however.

Ad

Discuss this Article

anon349807
Post 107

Firstly, apologies if I'm repeating anything said in previous comments. There are just so many, I confess I may have skimmed.

O.K., now I may have this totally wrong and I'm just having one of my stupid episodes, but let's say that I have a product. I conceived the idea, my money paid for the design, development, production, everything. It's mine. So I have this thing that I have made and I would very much like to sell it, but alas, I am lacking a suitable location in which to convey my merchandise. So I hear tell of a man who owns such an establishment that would meet my requirements most admirably.

O.K., now come the questions. Isn't it normal that, I, the one with the product, will rent use of this other man's location by paying his desired fee? Am I then not entitled to sell my whatever from said location and keep 100 percent of the takings/sales?

And finally, the point. What I think is this: the theatre owners, as a collective industry, should charge any who wish to hire the use of their premises, an upfront charge of their choosing with additional bonuses for high ticket sales, say a small percentage on each ticket sale over a certain number, likewise on prolonged sales, when during the first two or three weeks after a movie is release, the film company will receive 100 percent of all tickets sold, with similar bonuses going to the theatre in the subsequent weeks, and as total sales reach higher and higher, predetermined markers, or for each additional week the movie runs for, the bonuses will increase respectively.

That way, the theatre will never face another situation like when George Lucas demanded 100 percent of all cash taken in the first two weeks after “Attack of the Clones” was released. I mean, those theatres had to provide everything: wages, insurances, amenity costs, you name it, everything, free of charge for a fortnight with no guarantees of recompense if it flopped. I don't know if it did flop, but having seen it, it certainly deserved to.

Now the filmmakers will say, “We'll never be able to recover the $90 bazillion it cost to make.” Simple. Cut your budgets. I read somewhere that the cost of making a movie hasn't risen in line with inflation, but in fact, overtook it many moons ago, which says to me that these unscrupulous sons of secretly disappointed and ashamed mothers, who run the big studios, finagle such huge amounts of cash from all of us, simply throw the money at it because they have it. Perhaps they are thinking that if the actual cost to make this film is X amount, then if I double or even triple that amount then it follows that it will be better, (hasn't this been proven time and again to be fundamentally untrue? Methinks, yes!), and now that we have a budget similar in size to a small country's national debt, we can afford to hire the current Hollywood hotshot, Bobby Spandangulous and his $25 million price tag.

Which allows me to segue beautifully to my last, and, some may say, most effective budget shrinking suggestions. Just stop paying your leading actors so damned much; if all the studios adopt the same policy, who can they demand it from?

My guess would be that most of them would rather take the cut than face the oh-so undignified and frighteningly rapid plunge into the “who cares where they are now” depths of obscurity:

And what about the ones who won't, the ones who believe themselves to be not only deserving of and justified in asking for such obscene amounts but also, to be too loved by adoring fans, too famous, too handsome, too pretty, just too damned fantastic to ever be refused, replaced and forgotten?

To those I'd have to say, "Fare thee well Mr. not so indispensable as we thought, are we?” No, because popularity and fame can be fickle. So there you have it -- my idea.

Personally, I think it is a fine idea. So fine in fact, that I should be immediately recruited and installed as chairman of the 'Fine Ideas About How To Do Better Business' board posthaste!

anon343514
Post 106

Hi everyone! I have to strongly disagree with the premise of this page, "Why are movie tickets so expensive?" The fact of the matter is that movie tickets are not expensive compared to other ticketed entertainment options.

In 1990, the average ticket price in the US was $4.23. (Please note that the average ticket price is an average of all tickets sold in the entire country, including adult, child, senior, and military tickets, discounted group or promo tickets, etc, across the country, so the average ticket price in rural areas would be less, and the average ticket price in major cities would be more.) The 2012 average ticket price was $7.96. If you use the Official Inflation Calculator (available online)and calculate the current price of an average movie ticket based on the 1990 figure, you come up with $7.56, so last year's average ticket price is only 40 cents more than the 1990 figure adjusted for inflation! Also, keep in mind that nowadays there are many premium experience upcharges, such as 3D, Dolby Atmos, IMAX, and others that cost $1 to $6 in addition to the base price. If you take those up-charges out of the 2012 average ticket price, an inflation-adjusted average movie ticket in 2012 is actually LESS expensive than the average movie ticket price in 1990! That's an incredible thought!

Further, in 1990, the average movie experience was in a lousy suburban multi-plex with sticky floors, broken seats, etc. Now, the average movie-going experience is in a modern mega-plex stadium seating theatre! So, the theatre chains have managed to modernize their entire theatre portfolios with buildings that cost about $1 million per screen to build, while keeping the average ticket price about the same as 1990 when adjusted for inflation, even when you include premium upcharges! I would say that achievement is absolutely remarkable! That would be the same thing as an NFL, NBA, or MLB team keeping their ticket prices the same as 1990 even though they spent $500 million to $1 billion on a new arena/stadium! In fact, their tickets have gone up between 5 and 8 times depending on the team!

One could also compare prices for anything in 1990 versus today to argue that movie prices in fact, have risen at a rate comparable to or in many instances much lower than the cost of common goods. In 1990, a good loaf of bread cost 99 cents. Now, a good loaf of bread is $3 or $4, an increase of three or four times the 1990 price! When I was in high school in 1990, I consistently paid 59 cents a gallon for gas. Now, I pay $4, which is a just shy an insane seven times higher! Can you imagine if the average movie ticket cost 4 or 7 times higher than 1990? That would be $17 or $30 respectively compared to an average ticket of $7.56 last year!

Compared to other entertainment options such as a Broadway show, concert, or an NFL, NBA, or MLB game ticket, a movie ticket is an absolute bargain! The average ticket price for "The Book of Mormon" is $198.66, "The Lion King" is $158.45, and "Wicked" tickets average $133.33, just to name a few! The average ticket price for both the Jets and Patriots is $118! Across the NFL, the average ticket price is $78.38. The numbers for the NBA and MLB are similar. One could also do these comparisons to concert tickets and the price increases would be the same or even more! I still have concert ticket stubs from high school (1988 to 1990) where I paid between $18 and $25 to see Metallica, Motley Crue, Ozzy, and Guns N Roses when they were the biggest bands on the planet! Today, the Stones cost $300 to $500 for a ticket, Madonna $200 to $300, and the cheapest ticket to see anyone on the Billboard charts now is anywhere from $69 to $99 for a general admission ticket!

After considering these figures, anyone should be able to see that going to the movies today is a bargain and more affordable than ever compared to other ticketed entertainment options! If one wanted to say that "Movie tickets cost more than I want to spend" I would completely understand that and would have nothing to argue about! But for someone to say that "Movie tickets are expensive!" I would strongly argue that they are simply misinformed!

anon343258
Post 104

As much as I hate to say it, maybe it's time to just let theaters join drive-ins in the history books. Most of us use redbox, netflix and watch movies on our blu-ray players nowadays anyway. Its cheaper and more convenient. When Hollywood tells us "You'll sit down, shut up, Pay more and like it," that's when we need to collectively give Hollywood the finger and stay home.

anon341343
Post 103

What if there were a discount theatre (dollar theatre) that played the same blockbusters at the same time but in lower quality? I'll admit I go to the movies to get the experience of the theatre, but let's be honest: we only budget for movies we want to see. The rest we just disregard completely or watch illegally online.

If we had theatres play all the movies we want to see, but cheaper, wouldn't that still benefit the studios and local movie lovers, plus help the whole piracy issue. That's why we have piracy -- because everything's too damn expensive! But if we offer affordable movies, wouldn't that encourage those who pirate illegally to just go see it for a dollar or two? You pay for what you get. Since everything's digital now, studios could convert their 4k masterpieces into 1080p productions. --Curtis W.

anon340344
Post 102

I agree that movie tickets are crazy expensive specially if the movie has 3D version too. I like going to movies when they're released, but then paying for it is a concern. In order to afford to watch movies, I utilize my card rewards for free movie tickets or discount vouchers. It works well for me. Some online sites have rewards systems for earning movie tickets and also hold some caption contests. We just need to be on watch for such opportunities.

anon338686
Post 101

For those who boycott everything they want just because they think this will change something, they aren't mistaken on one point: it will change things, but not in the way they want.

The price is getting higher as quality is reduced, especially because people are buying less of the same product.

This is a second effect of competition. Let's say everyone goes to the same movie theater instead of using online services and their TV distribution channels. Their income would get higher and their profit margin would be better.

But, since there are a lot of different methods to see a movie and those methods are not owned by the same company (well, with some exceptions), those companies try to take from each other. But the harsh reality is that it forces them to still raise the price. The minimum wage gets higher every one to three years, workers gets promoted or get salary raises, the cost of the food goes up, etc. That forces movie theaters to "force" a higher price to maintain a profit. If they don't do it, they don't get a profit. If they don't get a profit, they lose money, and if they lose money, some of will see their stock prices fall (if they are on the market). People sell those stocks and their value reduces, making it hard for them to get funding to get the new releases. Not a lot of people know it, but less than 10 percent of the movie theater companies actually have enough money to get the last releases. They borrow money with the idea that they will get enough money to cover the costs from the consumers.

Even if they don't have stocks, if they don't make a profit (which means they go in the red), that forces them to reduce the quality even more, or to simply close. In the long run, that makes people lose their job, costing the others if they gets some social aids until they find another job.(Depending on the countries.)

A monopoly of the market is not great, but abusing the competition isn't either. Imagine how many people would lose their job is there weren't any movie theaters. Movie theaters bring most of the cost of making the movies (depending on their success) and push the market to bring the technology farther, and sometimes, the quality of the scripts. (Let's not look at the poor scripts in the recent years please. Take it as information, not based on old example.)

anon318293
Post 100

I work my butt off for min wage and that doesn't buy too much these days. I used to be able to enjoy a normal life years ago before all the price gouging started. Now they are raping everybody for every penny they can! You almost can't do anything fun at all because it costs too much!

I just watch movies on TV now -- the free ones or the ones for $2.99 or less on Xfinity and make my own popcorn. It's a real shame what has happened to this country! I feel sorry for the younger generation. It seems the only thing they do for fun is texting on their Iphones.

anon316800
Post 99

The movie going experience is crap now. It should be getting cheaper, not more expensive. Most of the 35mm projectors were replaced in 2012 with inferior hard drives and digital projectors, so they don't even need to order a film they can simply email it over. I'll stay at home and watch Blu Ray, the experience is just as exciting.

anon311036
Post 98

Here in Australia, it can cost US$27 to US$44.20 to see a movie depending on how comfy the seat is (really). My missus just made me buy gold class tickets for our family of four (two kids under 12) and it was US$195! Yes you read it correctly, $195 (AUS$187.00) for a two hour movie. $3.25 per ticket for online processing, etc, etc. No wonder piracy is rampant!

anon310905
Post 97

They have destroyed the family life along with other things around the world. The price of candy in the local stores, the price of gas to take your family places.., Even McDonalds raised prices on there shrunken burgers.

We must stop being used like puppets and we need to make changes. If everybody would stop buying and doing things for a month it may wake them up and lower prices so we can enjoy going out with our families.

anon292678
Post 95

Over-pricing has effectively destroyed the culture of casual movie-going. People don't "hang" in the movies anymore. That culture has been replaced by an atmosphere of structured consumer activity.

anon291803
Post 94

I'm lucky that I'm a Canadian student and for $25 from my university, I get two adult tickets to any film, one large popcorn and two drinks. It works well for me, especially if I'm going on a date and want to treat the person. Even a local restaurant close to the theatre has a deal where if you buy a meal, you can pay $8 for the film ticket instead of $12.50-13.

At the local Rainbow Cinemas, it's $5 for a matinee which is still the cheapest I have ever found, although that theatre has sticky floors and sometimes is not as pleasant a viewing experience.

anon286889
Post 92

I would understand that price I am paying for ticket is to watch the movie, not the advertisement. I don't want to see the advertisement for 20 minutes. Instead, they should offer free tickets to see the movie, but you have to watch adverts.

Just imagine, for each show you take in 11 pounds and there are 40 other people = 400 pounds. Let's assume: For lighting, equipment and depreciation 150. Staff 10 pounds per hour X 3 people X 2.5 hours =75. Other costs = 100. In total, 325 pounds. They made a profit of 75 pounds, but they get paid for showing advertisements about 500 pounds for a 30 second spot. We're watching about 10-20 minutes of ads which could be 10,000 pounds in profit. They are greedy. No wonder the cinemas are growing like mushrooms. They've got the money to build a new cinema every year.

Is it fair that we have to pay this price? No. If they will offer free movies, popcorn and drinks, yeah, and if I have to watch ads, I would think about it. But for now, I think I've been to the cinema for the first and last time this year, unless they change their behaviour and offer movies free from ads or a free movie with ads. My kids already were tired before the movie even started.

anon272688
Post 91

Don't forget that people are bred to become consumerists, and if the prices go up they would pay off the roof prices for "convenience".

I personally chose to go to lower priced theaters like MOVICO, or just watch on my 3D big screen at home (it ends up being cheaper in long run).

anon269476
Post 90

My friend and I are going to see Avengers later today in 3D, and the only reason we're seeing it in 3D is because it's the only time that works for both of us. I looked it up last night and just for two tickets, it will be $23 before tax! Before this, the last movie I saw in theatres was either the last Harry Potter or the last Pirates of the Caribbean, which were both early last year.

anon267995
Post 89

In Australia, I paid $25 per person for a movie ticket. The Avengers (3D, Extremescreen (Hoyts Cinema's way of saying bigger screen), and one pair of 3D glasses included). For a family of four it was $150, including popcorn and cola (plus we pay more for petrol as well - so it costs more to commute).

anon259333
Post 88

So now they start charging the same amount to rent them at home in some cases.

Timewarrior1
Post 87

Our biggest problem is that we are not united. We don't realize we have the power to change whatever we want. Hollywood is a tiny but very powerful town because we have gave them that power by watching, buying and following everything they do.

We produced a great independent movie called "Time Warrior" that Hollywood studios are blocking because they don't want anyone to know that regular people with talent can make great things with a faction of the money they throw away.

anon253998
Post 85

Just like gas prices going up with "speculation," now Hollywood execs are using the excuse of rising movie making cost associated with 3D (and any other reason the public will buy) to raise ticket prices. It's all greed.

The theaters make the most money off snacks and the studios on ticket prices. Then you have the greed of the actors to get more and more money. Put it all together and its one big forget you to the average Joe. It will continue until the public goes broke, just like every other way the rich man takes from the poor. It has been going on for thousands of years.

Eventually, the house of cards will fall in the movie business, but only when the average person has had enough of getting screwed. Its all going up, cable/satellite TV is way up to. Cell phone plans, electricity, gasoline, food, water/sewer, insurance prices. People's paychecks are not increasing with the rate of everything else. The ultimate outcome is going to simply be unless you make good money you can not afford children and you will live in a lower class than those who do have money. Greed -- it's in our nature.

anon253883
Post 84

Face it. The entire movie industry is in shambles. Almost every aspect of it is rapidly in decline. However, Hollywood will still turn a profit by focusing on its target market: kids and teens.

anon253191
Post 83

The majority of the public are working for a hourly wage that is designed to make the company the most money. Available assets are pretty low for most.

Hollywood is a company that is also out to make the most money. The problem is, making the most money is increased ticket and DVD/Blu-ray prices verses low available assets. Not something that really mixes that well.

As movie ticket prices move up, more people wait for DVD/Blu-ray releases to watch at home. As DVD and blu-ray prices increase, people wait till they go on sale or hit the $14.99 racks.

Hollywood will have to learn that there is an accepted price that the public will willingly pay for entertainment instead of raising prices and blaming all their woes on "piracy". Morons.

anon250829
Post 82

I'd like to mention that 10-plus years ago there were no commercials at the start of the movie. There were only trailers. That was when the movie tickets were about $13 dollars each. Since then, the price went down, but we have to suffer through commercials, although we pay straight out to watch a film. Soon, they will have a commercial midway through the film. Just wait.

As for prices, it's also interesting to note that the prices to rent a video online is $5.00 for many download sites, which, was the same price as rental from a physical rental location, except you no longer have the overhead of that store, don't have to pay employees, or stock videos/DVD's, or ship video/DVD's, or make them. It can almost entirely be handled digitally by a few nerds and a server farm.

anon248735
Post 81

The problem with this article is that it doesn't explain why movie tickets are more expensive now than they were in the past and why ticket prices have risen much faster than inflation.

Sure, all those gaffers, production assistants, and animators need to be paid, but presumably, they needed to be paid back in 1995 too. What's changed between now and then?

bgurrl
Post 79

Because Hollywood is no longer the monopoly it was in 1948, they can't own theaters, short selling etc. The prices are the way they are to pay for the flops. Hollywood doesn't really make it's money back on movies.

anon246320
Post 78

In India we pay $2-4 each, ($6-8 for lounge seats), add some extra for popcorn and other meals. So typically, we are looking at $30 to 40 for a family of four or five. But the expense is better entertainment than making babies at home and adding to life long expenditures.

anon245255
Post 77

What doesn't make sense to me are these so called "3D" movies. Most the time you pay extra to wear 3D glasses and that's it. Crappy 3D for an excuse to raise the ticket price.

anon245253
Post 76

The wife and I were about to see the new Underworld movie at AMC but they only had 3D showings throughout most of the day at $15 a ticket. We decided not to go to AMC anymore.

I used to go out to the movies at least twice a month but not anymore, not at AMC anyway. They offer no military discount either.

anon245061
Post 75

If you simply go to advanced screenings rather than wait for the movies to be released, then you never have to pay for a ticket ever.

On average, you save $20-$35 every time you go to a free screening and don't waste money on tickets.

anon244152
Post 74

More and more people are owning flat screen TVs and many have the full 50" screens with 5.1 surround sound as well. So I believe it is fair to say that fewer and fewer people are prepared to pay the utterly exorbitant prices that are being charged by the cinemas. They must make a 1000 percent profit on popcorn and at least a 500 percent profit on hot dogs - it's an absolute flipping joke!

The public has been getting robbed for decades and still they want more.

Fewer people going to the cinema? Blame piracy. Did Hollywood make a really rubbish film that no one went to see? It surely can't be because the film was crap; it must be piracy.

Actors are making more money for a few months work than many people make in an entire lifetime - and still they're bleating on about times are hard. Get a grip!

anon235807
Post 72

If you learn about all of the discounts, then you don't ever pay $10 a ticket. Regal theaters charge $4 and $5 for morning or twilight (or $5 all days on some days) tickets. AMC charges $6 for morning shows. On Tuesday, on days at Regal, popcorn is only $2 and you can earn free popcorn, drinks and tickets (as mentioned in an above post). Cinemark has a $3/refill bucket. And our grocery stores sell movie passes that allow cheap tickets when not going to a discounted show. Cinemark will take these even for new releases and they include 3D.

It is very possible to see movies in the theater and not have to pay ridiculous prices. At Regal, on a Tuesday, I can see a movie with popcorn for $7. At Cinemark, with a pass, I can see a 3D movie with popcorn (anytime) for $9.75.

anon234292
Post 71

The movie industry will most likely begin to vanish in the U.S. first in some 10 or 12 years as movie tickets by 2020 will hit the $20 mark (per ticket). Let the movie stars stack up as much as they can now, because no actor in 10 years is going to see studios paying them even 10 percent of what they're making now in 2011. We can already see a huge decline when analyzing present weekend grosses of the box office on Mojo site. This decline is going to continue.

anon233393
Post 70

I think it's messed up how much movies are today.

anon232091
Post 69

I'm only speaking for myself as a west coast American, but I got to the movie theaters a handful of times a year usually. (Although this year, I haven't been to one in about a year.) I usually go about two to four times a year and only to something my friends or date and I are really interested in seeing. And for money and dietary reasons, I avoid the concessions 95 percent-plus of the time (if I do decide to snack, I sneak something from a store in.) That way, I can snack on healthier alternatives at a lower cost.

The biggest reason I don't go to the movies, aside from price, is because I'm patient and can wait a few months to a year, or whatever, for the movie to be released to disc or Netflix. I'm also not a fan of people talking on cell phones, texting, talking too much, doing an Ebert impression, etc. Not to mention the sound systems at the movies is sometimes way too loud, sometimes to the point of inducing hearing loss.

This way, I rarely see a lemon at the theatre and can spend money instead on an HD projector, cheap "Ikea projector screen" (a.k.a. flat white window shade), and decent sound system using Mac mini as a media system. Pricey up front, but worth it in the long run. I'm sure I'd break even if I were a weekly movie goer after a couple of years, even faster if you have a big family.

Over $11-plus USD per ticket is too pricey to encourage me to go regularly, although I generally like going. Fortunately, I've recently found a $3 place that play pretty recent films if I really want to go.

anon231635
Post 68

In Malaysia, a movie ticket price is rather cheap. It costs about RM11-12 for regular, RM7-8 for student's price. A 3D movie is about RM18. A popcorn set with drinks costs about RM8.

anon226748
Post 66

Movie or cinema tickets seem to have jumped in price enormously in the last six months. I live in the middle of the UK (not London thankfully)and our local multiplex now charges £5.75 matinee and £7.40 evening. That is $9-12. Matinees used to be under £4 a year ago. However, cinemas around the world charge significantly less. India and Philippines charge about £1 or less. In Malaya it is £1.50.

It is about time that big movie and music stars realised that the days of being paid bazillions have passed. Fortunately, the web has changed that business model and will bring prices down. Then maybe we will get more films with an actual story rather than just expensive bang and flash. Home cinema for me from now on.

wisepoet
Post 65

@Anon13634: We only ever go the the theater maybe three times a year. We mostly go just for my mom's birthday and my dad's but that's it. And even then we talk about the prices of everything. It's crazy!

anon217132
Post 64

You people should come to Sweden.

A ticket costs normally 16 dollars. If you want 3d and good chairs, then 30 dollars.

anon183156
Post 63

So glad in Malaysia the tickets are only about $3. With 3D screen, it's a little more expensive.

anon182020
Post 62

I agree with the person before this!

anon180381
Post 61

the problem with prices is to do with the overhyped, egotistical, self loving money grabbing stars who demand tens of millions to feature in a movie and the pathetic studios that agree to pay said fees just to get the star's name in their film.

If a films budget is 500 million and three stars demand at least 50+ million to be in it and the film fails to recover its cost at the box office, whose fault is that? the studio then blames the public for illegal downloads. if studios paid so-called stars a normal regular weekly wage like other employees, their films wouldn't be so costly to make.

anon176018
Post 60

If my family wants to go see a movie I buy tickets at Costco. 2 for $14. We smuggle in our own water and snacks. Most of the time we just wait for movies to come out on Netflix because I refuse to waste money on something that ends up being crap. It's such a shame, the movies used to be a haven for people during the Great Depression because it was cheap entertainment. These days movies are a luxury due to the price.

anon169534
Post 59

I remember back in the Mid 90's the most expensive non-matinee movie tickets in Southern California were around $3.50 to $4.00. Studios couldn't possibly have double the budget of movies back then, especially when you consider how far technology has come and how affordable it is to have big time special effects for much less than movies of the past. I feel that movie studios are just ripping off consumers and we're letting happen by continuing to pay these prices for movies.

anon163393
Post 58

Pfft. Has anyone mentioned how expensive IMAX movies are? Ridiculous!

anon161969
Post 57

I wonder if, at some point, Hollywood and the megacorps that own it will realize that people are flocking to Netflix and Redbox. Even the black sheep of the family - Blockbuster - provides a bargain for a family with movies priced at $5/pop, because it's a savings of at least $15 over the theater ticket prices. You just have to be a bit more patient.

If the studios and financiers realize this, will fees for Netflix and Redbox skyrocket, or will they actually concede and start lowering prices (and star/producer/exec salaries)? I'm hoping the latter.

anon160030
Post 56

I have pretty much stopped going to theaters. When I do go I bring my own snacks. I will not pay in to greed any more than I have to.

There are movies that I really want to see but Hollywood is so greedy now. I am tired of paying for movies that are misbilled and horrible. So many movies have different trailers now days and it depends on when and where you see a trailer as to what you get sold.

When you go see the movie it could be totally different from what the trailer shows, and the theater says "it's not our fault you didn't like it." Trailers are designed to bring in the most people, not give you an idea of the movie you are seeing.

I will stay home. Which is also being hit by the greedy studios in that they don't want certain movies to be released on redbox or netflix for a 30 days after DVD release because they want you to go buy it.

If you do finally get it at home you are inundated with other trailers and legal warnings that you can't bypass. Hollywood is greedy and I am not playing. I will watch it legally if it is convenient, but they are not getting any more of my hard earned money for stupid movies, that includes you Michael Bay (Transformers "number two").

anon156534
Post 55

And now they're pushing these 3-D movies on us, and charging extra for them. Sometimes the theater only shows the 3-D version of the movies, so that if you want to see a new release, you're stuck having to pay extra for the 3-D version. I gave up on going to the movies. Overpaid movie stars, overpriced popcorn and pop, overpriced tickets. I simply wait until a movie comes out on DVD and then check it out of my local library for free. And I pop my own popcorn at home. It's like everything else these days: greed is driving up prices.

anon153928
Post 54

Theaters are more expensive. But like some people said, it is a different experience seeing it in theaters rather than at home. I don't mind spending 10$-20$ a month to see a movie I have been looking forward to in theaters. They also have reward programs now that if you spend so much money, you can get a free popcorn, soda, and eventually a free ticket.

For those who say you are just going to boycott the theaters and start getting bootlegged movies, you are the ones making it worse. If studios aren't making money because people are "stealing" their movies, they are going to make cheaper movies and theaters are going to raise their prices.

anon140218
Post 52

My fiance and I used to go to one of our local Kerasotes theaters. It was about $8 per person at night (after 5pm) and $7 for students (I'm a student); and $9 for a large drink and popcorn which we shared. Not too bad, right?

Then AMC bought all of them and raised the price to $10 at night, no student discount, and it was $13 for a drink and popcorn. Wow. Their rationalization for this is that movies Mon-Thurs before 5 are $4.50 per person.

I wonder if they ever stopped to think that maybe the people who would need to take advantage of that are, I don't know, working, during that time.

They also raised the matinee price on Sat. and Sun. by $1.50. Don't even get me started on 3D which are $3 more no matter what time of day.

Now we go to a local non-chain theater that still has $7 at night and you can get a drink and popcorn for less than $9.

Most theaters are overpriced but I especially hate AMC because they took the reasonable, nice Kerasotes chain and screwed it and its customers over.

anon139420
Post 51

The following prices are in canadian dollars.

A local theater has tickets for students at 5$ after 9 p.m., otherwise it's 7$. Another bigger theater has tickets at 6$ (for everybody) on tuesdays. Imax is 15$ for a movie, so I don't go there. So we're talking about a 10-15$ night for me and my s/o. Cheap but still, you can rent a few movies with that kind of money.

I don't buy popcorn and sodas. First, drinking soda is not very intelligent and I don't like it anyway. Second, why buy the overpriced popcorn? It's not like you're going to die of starvation if you don't eat food during a two or three hour movie. If you're going as a group, be it family or friends, why not share a bigger popcorn rather than buying a regular one for everyone?

Those who pay 80$ either can afford it or are just plain stupid. Most people in america have debts and don't understand how credit cards work so I can understand them paying 80$ for a night at the theater.

Finally, I wonder how many of those complaining about the price of sodas in theaters are overweight.

anon129096
Post 49

When i was a kid we used to wait for the movie to be over and people to come pouring out the back exit. We would rush in as they came out then hide and see a movie for free. When it was over hop to a different one even if it had already begun. Many summer days in the ice cold theater.

The prices slowly got higher and higher as the years went by. You would think it would cost less to make a movie since most of them are practically cartoons with all the computer animated BS they have now. Every time I've left a movie, even when i was going for free, I've always said "that movie could have been better." Every movie!

The kids love Potter so the only movies i have been to in the last 13 years have been the seven potter movies released so far. One more potter movie and I'm done with the movies for good. Goodbye AMC, hello netflix!

anon115406
Post 46

The hell with that. If anyone think 10 dollars is nothing to go to the movies, the bravo for you. Personally I think it's stupid and greedy, from the movie industry and cinemas alike, to eat some lame popcorn and candy for about seven bucks each. Forget that. I download movies from now on and have probably saved over 10K+ doing that. Don't like it, tough! Lower the damn price for admission!

anon112788
Post 45

The last movie I saw in the movie theater was Avatar in 3D (cost 12 € per ticket).

The 3D was something else, but in hindsight, I still prefer 2D, because it's hard to focus on the entire screen when in 3D.

If the tickets don't get cheaper, this will have been the last movie ever I went to see at the theater.

Even if it is a good movie, it's just too expensive (and the sound volume is always way too high).

I much rather see movies at home now, with a 32" TV and surround system, it's actually more enjoyable and with the difference in price per movie, you quickly earn back the investment of a home cinema system.

anon112194
Post 44

If they would drop the price of tickets by a couple maybe even a few dollars they will see a huge increase in sales. The money loss from the drop would be reciprocated by the over sell of tickets. There is a medium for everyone. We all walk away happy from that decision.

anon111709
Post 43

If you have been keeping up on all the stupidity being stated by the movie industry MPAA they claim bootleg "pirates" are the cause of the high ticket prices.

Well there are "pirates" in this industry and it ain't the "Bootleggers".

anon107223
Post 42

You think you have it bad in the US? I live in the UK, and you're looking at nearly £11.00 GBP for a premium seat. And nearly £10.00 GBP for a standard seat. I need a premium seat simply because I am not small and need the added leg room.

I buy my snacks at a local supermarket and smuggle them in, so I save a bit there, but when you take into account a single ticket, snacks and travel, etc., it adds up to a good £23.00 GBP or so which in the current climate is roughly US$35.70 per person. I literally couldn't afford that for a night out even if I wanted to. That is why I am a member of Blockbuster rentals, and a couple of other rental shops.

The cost of entertainment is getting stupid and something needs to be done. I am a great lover of films, and having to constantly wait for them to come out on blu-ray because the cinema is so expensive is not only unfair but an absolute piss take in my opinion.

Cinemas make enough money from concessions and the film makers make enough from sales revenue and rental royalties, so why should we pay out the rear for them when they are already raking it in. Someone please give me a real answer!

anon104704
Post 41

how can you say $10 is a lot to see a movie? it's a different experience and you usually leave the theater with new knowledge. compare this price to a meal at mcdonalds which satisfies you for five minutes. stop being a cheap schmuck.

anon104203
Post 40

Further proof that hollywood unions need to be disbanded altogether. They drive up prices for a production and cause everything associated with it to inflate in cost. They are single-handedly destroying entertainment.

anon96540
Post 38

best is to react like indians do. in india, if prices are high people travel to low cost theaters. this helps low cost theaters to survive. high costs are because people are not reacting against it. in india you will see more actors, more movies and more theaters with lots of choice. Some will pay like anything to good movie but this is not story in india.

anon94631
Post 37

I thought I was just an antisocial but I'm relieved to see that I'm not the only one who has not went out to the movies in over a decade. It's just too much of a gamble on the movie sucking to pay through the nose.

anon93538
Post 36

I will never go to the movies again. I do not purchase bootleg DVDs, but now I understand why people do. The prices are ridiculous.

anon93443
Post 35

In addition to all these things the convenience charge is very, very irritating.

For the common man it's become very tough to go to a movie in India. Hence the need for pirated DVD's haas become essential.

anon93046
Post 34

I recently went to see a movie with my parents, Toy Story 3. The movie in 3D was 14.50 each, plus around 10 dollars each for regular size of popcorn, a regular drink and a bar. That's around $80 for a movie in theatres. I think it's too expensive! They make enough money with all the customers and theatres. they should cut back the prices.

anon91686
Post 33

Recently, I went to see toy story 3 and the ticket cost me 10.50. And in my local AMC theater they took away small drinks and the smallest size is called a regular. It's crap.

anon87113
Post 32

In my opinion one reason, besides greed, for high movie ticket prices is the classic reaction from management to the effect. Fewer consumers are going to movies so to compensate for this they raise the prices, so they raise prices again and more consumers stay away. You would think lowering the prices and getting a full house would make a win-win situation for both.

anon87000
Post 31

I recently got netflix which is the same price as one movie ticket and it covers the whole month and you can watch unlimited movies (directly on tv and by mail, mail postage is free btw). If I want to see a newer movie than what netflix has to offer, and they are pretty recent movies, i go to the dollar theater where tickets only cost 1 dollar. on tuesdays popcorn and soda only cost a dollar as well.

anon84680
Post 30

That comment about comparing it to a concert or sporting event is not right. You will always get your money's worth on those, yet how many times have you seen a movie that was totally awful and wished you never wasted your time or money on it? Happens to me about 25 percent of the time so factor that in. Movies are always a gamble.

anon84481
Post 29

pearl harbor colossal failure? It cost $140 million to make and made $450 million in cinema alone and much more in DVD sales and rentals. Get your facts right.

anon81392
Post 28

I am tired of paying 9 bucks for tickets. I mean I gone to one Regal theater since 2005. A matinee was 7.50. Then in 2006 8 dollars, then 8.25...then 8.50...now in 2010 9 bucks for a matinee. I mean I've been going to this one theater. They should have discount cards for there supported members. Hell, I used to tell all my friends to go there.

anon79511
Post 27

A low priced alternative to going to the theater is OnDemand Movie viewing. Cable systems provide a decent selection at a hefty per movie price; Netflix offers a decent price for older movies if you have a supported device; and internet based services like Amazon, iTunes, & CinemaNow fill in the blanks for subscribers to their systems.

Another system that I recently discovered is Blockbuster OnDemand. While I have only discovered it, they have been doing this for awhile. Blockbuster OnDemand has a special offer where they provide a 25 Movie rental package for $99 plus tax. The kicker to this deal is that they will send you a free Media Point Viewer device to simplify movie selection and downloads. The only requirement is that you must connect this device to your home network via Ethernet so it can access Blockbuster over the internet.

If you can make this network connection, then even the slowest internet connections will be able to utilize this service because the system first downloads your movie selection to the device.

The Blockbuster viewer allows you to select from a large selection of movie titles and descriptions. It offers the newest video releases, so you can skip the theater and enjoy great movies in the comfort of your home.

anon75171
Post 25

Yes, we can do something. We can quit going i.e, boycott these outrageously priced movies. Most films lately are not any good anyway.

anon73823
Post 24

We pay 15$ in Denmark which I think is fairly expensive. Wages are higher than in the U.S.A. So it evens out to that, we are all getting equally screwed.

anon73229
Post 23

Movie prices are too high. Outrageously high. I won't see a movie in a theater. not even on cheaper nights, based purely on the principle. Nor am I inclined to help these greedy jerks by buying the movie on video. I'm seriously thinking of reading more. Gag- didn't think I'd ever hear myself saying that!

anon68254
Post 21

I'm so lucky, we live in Indonesia. Tickets here are so much cheaper, only $1.5 a ticket, with the whole family watching in theater, cost is maximum $20 with beverages.

anon62191
Post 20

It shouldn't cost a couple thirty dollars to go to the movies. I'm sure popcorn and soda aren't on top of the food chart. It's going to get to the point where people aren't going to go anymore. Sure we love movies but don't want to be taken advantage of.

anon62080
Post 19

No doubt movie tickets are getting more and more expensive, but I would like people to consider other sources of entertainment and compare prices.

or example, as a resident of northern New Jersey right outside of New York City, my local movie theater sets ticket prices at 11.50 plus 3 dollars for 3-D or Imax. There used to be a small discount for student tickets or earlier shows, but they are all but gone. I think movies that start before noon are still 6 or 7 dollars, and there may be a cutoff for 9 dollar tickets, but that second cutoff gets earlier and earlier.

Concession prices continue to get higher. There used to be a discount if you bought combos of large sized popcorn and soda etc., but they got rid of them. However, the 30 dollars you spend at a movie theater is still cheap compared to going to a concert or a sporting event. The cheapest seats at Newark's Prudential Center for a Devils hockey game are still 10 dollars, but they are limited in number; most seats cost at least 25 dollars at this point. The most expensive seats are 250 dollars apiece. Now there is a major difference, being that you are getting live entertainment at this event, but in the long run, you are still paying to be entertained for a 2-3 hour period of time. When you consider this, movie theaters aren't ripping people off as much as other entertainment providers are.

anon60496
Post 18

Tickets here in the UK cost around £9, and even with my student discount I'm still going to pay around £7.50, which equates to $15 or so? For that reason Avatar is the first film I've gone to see since about 2001 and that's only because a friend was so determined to see it.

I go to super-cheap matinees from time to time or take advantage of local special offers (I saw Back to the Future 2 and Jurassic Park for one pound each!) but new releases? No way.

anon55306
Post 17

I live in CT and we were paying way more than $7 a ticket last year. It's uncanny how closely the ticket prices have been tracking the minimum wage. Maybe the pricing feels high because the average standard of living has gone down every year since 1975 since we lost our manufacturing base. Wake up people.

It's the end of the USA as we know it. Don't blame Hollywood.

anon54089
Post 16

I remember when you could take a date to the movies for $10 total. And that was admission and some food. I can't believe how much it costs nowadays.

The first and last time I took my four year old to the movies, we saw Kung Fu Panda. It cost $40 for tickets and concession food. Never again.

God forbid you go to an IMAX 3-D movie. That's $14.50 a ticket!

I feel that if you paid that much for a ticket, they should at least give you a free small popcorn or something. That's why every time I move to a different state, I look for a drive-in movie theater. They are only about $7, but you get to watch a double or triple feature. No more little speaker hanging off the side of your car. The movie sounds play right through your car's stereo system.

anon49171
Post 15

In the city I'm from, thankfully, there's still one (of four) theatres that charge under $10 per ticket. They also have 1/2 price Tuesdays and 1/2 price matinees. I don't bother with the larger, expensive theatres any more. I can see two movies for the price of one!

anon48186
Post 14

Ticket prices are crazy. Unfortunately there is nothing we can do about it.

anon45278
Post 13

Movie tickets are extortion. Most ticket prices are above $10, student discounts are pegged to a single night per week, and matinees end after 1 p.m. There are no twilight or other rates anymore. You pay to have your eardrums blown out, to sit through more than 20 minutes of crass advertising that's often not even movie related, only to have the feature interrupted by talking, loud eating, ringing cell phones. I haven't bought a concession item in years. Now with movie-by-mail services, you can get a couple flicks at a time for $14 a month, you could get more than eight films a month and free downloads. I think I'll let some other idiot subsidize the studio.

anon43298
Post 12

Movie studios complain about people pirating their movies, but they should just wake up and smell the coffee!

Movie tickets are *too* expensive! There should be a greater range of prices so that everyone can see movies.

anon29342
Post 11

Here in Philly at the Franklin Mills Mall matinee prices are $5 (before 4) and on Tuesdays $5 all day. These are the only times I go to the movies. I refuse to pay $10 just to see a movie. I have toddlers and I take them to every new kids movie release. I take a bag with goodies inside for them. Hardly do I ever buy anything at the concession stands. So I agree with everyone.

anon28299
Post 10

I'm on board too. I haven't been to a theater in over 6 years and have completely lost interest. Not a great value in my opinion. Theaters need to find a different business model or I'll bet they will all die a slow death.

KuroiKiba
Post 9

The price is too high. I used to go out with my friends and cousin; my aunt would carpool us all there, and since I was the 'smartest' I would collect all the money, make sure we got our change back and got enough change to feed around 4 girls. All of us would bring $20, $80 total and usually had only 2 dollars left for video games. The messed up part was that we would only buy 2 big popcorns and 2 large sodas and with all of us eating and drinking it sometimes would be gone before the movie even began. Now? We watch online free movies or bootlegs. No more two movies a month for us.

Movie theater lost 4 regulars, ha.

anon26119
Post 8

I think that my best guess is prices are high to pay for the huge new theaters that are everywhere now. The more they get for each show the better, and the less people who frequent because of high prices the less the wear and tear on the seats, floors, bathrooms and whatever.

I just think it is funny that prices go up and up and up. When will they stop?? I never buy food and snacks at the movie. $3.50 for a small drink......I'm way too poor for that, man. I get a 2 liter of big k for 69 cents at the store. It was cool when I was little and had nothing else to buy. Movies are fun but I go to probably 25% as many as I used to.

anon25293
Post 7

Having just realized last weekend that the big movie houses (e.g., UA) have broken the $10 barrier, I felt highly annoyed at needing to bust another large bill to pay them that 25 cents in this economy. I've vowed to no longer go to the movie theater unless they lower the price. They're greedy.

anon24749
Post 6

Movie theaters IMHO are outdated and a thing of the past. I think since 2005 I've only seen like 3 movies in the theater. I usually get all my movies from the internet and watch it on my bigscreen at home. Think about it, you can buy a decent surround sound home theater in a box for about 150 bucks, you can watch the movie on your time, at your home, pause it to get a drink or go to the bathroom, eat whatever you want, always have the best seat, no sticky floors, no jerks kicking the back of your seat, no people talking and laughing loudly with their annoying horse laughs or smacking their lips and slurping their sodas. It's great. And if you're one of those people that always take their first date for a movie and dinner and such, I'll just take her out for dinner and then watch the movie back at my apartment. It's more private and romantic that way, and unless she's stuck up she's not going to think you're being cheap or anything. Bottom line is I've been burned way too many times for the overpriced crap that Hollywood pumps out. Never again.

anon19151
Post 5

In Onarga Illinois there is a movie theater called the Onarga theater. The have a website www.onargatheater.com. There admission is only 5 dollars and the concessions are 1 dollar for a small soda and 150 for a small popcorn. Cheap and its a great clean place showing new releases only a few weeks after they come out. The owners greet you and they even hold the door open for you after the film and thank you for coming.. If you in the neighborhood check them out...

anon17577
Post 4

After seeing the travesty of Star Wars Episode 2 in 2002, I vowed to never pay for another movie and got a job at a multiplex. I and my close friends and family have enjoyed countless hours and several hundreds of dollars of free entertainment for the better part of a decade. make friends with theater employees (preferably managers).

WGwriter
Post 3

I agree the prices are too high for most movies. I tend to save my movie viewing for the big budget super action films that will bear up better on the big screen. I also almost never attend films in the evening. I prefer cheap nights, or the matinee, especially when my children accompany me. But getting to see movies in the theater tends to be a rare once in a while treat.

It's so odd; When I was a kid, I think I saw Star Wars about 30 times in the theater. We would do jobs for the neighbors, return glass bottles, and save our money for the $2.00 matinee fee at our local theaters. Even with popcorn and drinks, total prices were about $4.00 dollars.

IMHO, I do think it's a shame since Hollywood does make such a profit on many films. This is clearly not an industry hurting for money. But movies used to be the province of all, rich or poor. Now getting to see a movie seems to be the province of the upper middle class and higher incomes. Prices seem considerably disproportionate to lower middle class salaries and prohibitive to those who make even less, especially if you're taking a family to the movies.

anon13634
Post 2

I havent bothered with the theaters since 2002.

anon772
Post 1

I am encouraging others to boycott movies until prices come down. I refuse to pay $10.00 a ticket. Especially when hollywood boasts of record breaking movies every year. They need to share more profit with movie theaters and cut ticket prices or else more declining attendance is on the way.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email