Movie tickets are at an all-time high

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Where the hell are people seeing movies for less than $15? Hey Hollywood you wanna know why I don’t go to a lot of first run films… cause it is $15+ depending on 3d/imax/etc for the local theater.


Well, at least we’re getting unsurpassed quality and originality in our movies.

The extra price is worth it, knowing that Hollywood has stopped churning out pointless remakes and endless sequels.


If you listen to what people like George Lucas are saying, they want cinema to be an ‘event’. Expect to see ticket prices going up and up and up, and more silly gimmicks like 3D/IMAX etc.

I’m sure it was ever thus, but I just can’t be arsed with big-budget popcorn stuff much any more. I’ll stick with watching stuff at home. Most of what I’m interested in doesn’t need the big screen. Hopefully Netflix and Amazon will keep their idea of short-run cinema releases followed by streaming. Used to go the cinema all the time, having a young family makes it too expensive and not worth the bother.


I love the online seat selection and will only see movies in those theaters. The extra money is well worth the ability to walk in to a sold out movie during the trailers to my good seat and sit.


Ugh. I like the movies. I like taking my kid to the movies. The prices are nearing where it isn’t worth it. And I know it is a joke about the price of concessions, but come on! I don’t even feel bad sneaking in a snack any more.


Am I wrong in thinking that this is becoming like everything else in the economy, with big-ticket stuff for the rich (literally, in this case), and lesser-grade versions for the plebes? Because, while watching at home is nice, I gotta admit that the theater experience is no where near the same.


Last movie we saw in the theater was Finding Dory. Every preview they showed, we said “We’ll wait for the DVD/Streaming”. It’s not worth it when you have to pay things like rent and utilities and buy food.


That is because the margins on what the theater makes off the movies are razor thin so they make it up with the concessions. Which I very rarely get.


Yeah. Their poor business model isn’t my problem. I don’t like concessions. I wouldn’t buy it even if it were reasonably priced.


I am happily past that stage for parenthood. The last two films I paid the full price and took the kid with me for were Mad Max and The Force Awakens. Mad Max was very much worth it as that is a movie that is pure cinema and really is amazing on the huge screen. Star Wars, well my inner 8 year old was excited and the kid was into it so we went to a pre opening night show and it was good fun.

Most other stuff I am happy to wait for it to hit the $3 (or maybe it’s $4 now who cares it is cheap) theater or just wait for DVD and get it from the library.

These days I honestly like the event showings like how I saw the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary episode. It was really cool to see it on the movie screen, they had special intros for you to shut off your cell phone, etc. and everyone there was a like minded dork about what was showing.


Forgive my ignorance, if tickets are “at an all time high” does this mean that prices periodically drop?


I love going to the movies. Really. The endless trailers, the ice-cold AC, the smell of popcorn, the damnable prices. I love everything about the experience, good and bad. I genuinely don’t understand people who prefer to stay home. Granted it has a lot to do with my movie starved upbringing that I’m afflicted with extreme cinephilia, but I’ve always felt it beat renting a movie and staying home by leaps and bounds. That being said: 3D can die in a fire. I can’t see the effect and it eats up all the convenient showtimes.


I’m currently living in Tijuana (the real deal Tijuana, not Rosarito Beach or Ensenada), and am applying for temporary residency in Mexico.

To see the latest Avengers installment there, a week before U.S. release, I paid close to $2.50 for a matinee ticket.
While dogsitting for a friend in San Diego, I went to a matinee of Finding Dory and had to pay $11.00.

The same as most things assembled/cooked/prepared in the U.S., it’s really hard to justify the inflation for concessions, especially since U.S. companies underpay, understaff, and try to mechanize whenever possible. They just know U.S. citizens will sacrifice money for convenience.
I’m pretty sure Tijuana and San Diego share/overlap when it comes down to logistics.
(I used to work for R***l, and we’d pop popcorn sometimes a day or two in advance and put it under heat lamps)

Of course natives in Mexico earn less in comparison, but you’re still paying 25 cents less per view when you scale a $2000 income down to $500 per month.


I’d love to see how that breaks down among the different types of theaters.

I’ve seen more movies in the past year than I have in the past decade (my wife and I are on track to hit 52 movies this year). A bunch of new, cinemas have been built near my home. They have reserved seating, full menus with decent food and drinks (reasonably priced), and comfortable chairs giving a decent amount of space between me and my neighbor. One of the cinemas is an Alamo Drafthouse where they’ve established a pretty good culture of getting people to shut-the-hell-up while the movie is playing.

These are the only type of cinema I’ll go to anymore. If I have to stand in line for crappy food or have to find a seat when I show up, I’d rather not go.

Of all the showings we’ve been to, there’s been only one or two where the the theater wasn’t at least 2/3 full.


It’s a vicious cycle. The price raises, fewer people go to movies, making movies riskier to make, making studios finance only “sure things” with proven audiences, which means more remakes/sequels/transmedia.

And yet the fundamental antidote to this - hire more and pay more so that your audience has money to purchase the thing they are making - is entirely lost on capitalists of the last generation.

We could all see more movies if a star or producer traded their mansion for six people to afford a year of gainful employment.


Now just hold on there, do you realize what the markup is on popcorn? That’s always been big-budget…

…for the movie audience, that is. It’s how the theaters make their money, and have done so for decades. The margins on the films themselves are very small.

ETA: @TobinL beat me to it


And here I thought that Capitalism! (patent pending) was all about competition and risk-taking! [/sarcasm]


I’ve been taking the kids to a few movies lately, but I didn’t go at all to a first-run film in a theater for about 12 years. My wife and I saw Insomnia in 2002 and the next time I went was when Wreck-It Ralph was on. I enjoyed that one, but the handful I’ve seen after that, not so much (OTOH I didn’t not like them).

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Yes. Insomnia is one of the extremely few “American” remakes that could definitely stand alone.

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