C'MON HOLLYWOOD: Movie tickets are getting too damn expensive!

...movie tickets are getting too damn expensive!
by J.A. Hamilton

I’ve always loved going to the movies, be it drive-in (I saw E.T. and MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE at the drive-in though in all honesty I don’t much remember the experience beyond the fact that it was my first date as a kid and the girl I was with fell asleep which I’m told made me angry), the plain Jane theatre experience or the newest IMAX and 3-D experiences. Don’t get me wrong though, I also have a distinct fondness for those back rooms you see in electronics stores with the pimped out surround sound system set up around a nice comfy chair as well. I’ve built myself a similar home system and enjoy it rather shamelessly. But when push comes to shove I always jump at the opportunity to hit the theatre, though I must admit the prices are getting beyond ridiculous lately.

It's been a long time since I've sat down with this flick.

I warm up each day at the gym with fifteen to twenty minutes of cardio and for the most part, my gym has the news splashed over every TV screen seemingly all day long. I don’t usually pay much attention to it, but last year I turned off my music and plugged into the news when they began talking about movie revenues. I was a little shocked to find out that despite the massive economic crunch we’ve been going through, theatrical sales, movie rentals and DVD/BLU-RAY revenues were not only unaffected by this but were the highest they’ve ever been. This may just have been one pole, or one opinion but it made me start thinking about it and breaking this down for myself.

This was the last IMAX movie I saw and it was worth every penny.

For some reason I always keep my movie stubs, so I went through some before writing this article. I found one for THE SIXTH SENSE from 1999 and GALAXY QUEST from 2000, both were five seventy-five a ticket. There was also a Toonie theatre around back then that played titles about a month after they opened for two dollars but naturally that didn’t last very long. So a decade later your standard tickets have pretty much doubled in price and if you decide to give IMAX or 3-D your hard earned cash the price can creep up to the better part of twenty bucks pretty quick. I’m not for much junk food (though I’ve been known to grab a chicken sandwich if there’s a Burger King in the complex) so I don’t feel the added sweet tooth pull, but rest assured some people drop enough coin to pay their phone bill at the theatre if they’re not careful.

This 3-D experience was worth the extra, CLASH OF THE TITANS not so much.

The downside to this situation (or so the powers that be would have us believe), or wild card if you will is the internet and the ability to become a merry pirate. I won’t say I’m for it and I won’t say I’m against it, but downloading a film that’s just hit DVD/BLU-RAY or that’s still in theatres is a concept that becomes more and more appealing as the price of movies goes up. Most movies cost at least five to seven dollars to rent at most movie stores, chalk on at least another twenty bucks if you and your significant other saw in theatres, so at the end of the day you’ve paid almost thirty bucks which could have bought you the damn BLU-RAY or almost two copies of the DVD! It’s a lot to consider for a pass time that used to be so simple and affordable we didn’t even think twice about it.

I was overjoyed to pick up EQUILIBRIUM on Blu-ray for 8 bucks last week.

Movies aren’t going anywhere, that I’m pretty much sure of, but like tickets to your local amusement park or sports game, people are starting to second guess themselves lately about hitting the theatre (especially now that the 3-D money train has left the station). A lot of people will choose to wait for the DVD/BLU-RAY which they may buy or simply rent while the rest are opting to download it for free. Last year’s quota may have been alright, but if prices keep escalating like they are, how long will it last? With the dawn of 3-D TV’s on the horizon, the bleeding out of video stores and the war on piracy being a losing battle, the movie experience as we know it (theatrical or otherwise) may be in for some serious changes in the not so distant future. I just hope they find a middle ground before prices get so high that we all lose.
Extra Tidbit: My best friend Aaron went to a theatre in Bangkok last year and said for five bucks he got to kick back on a huge leather sofa, put his feet up with popcorn and drink and enjoy a theatrical movie experience in both comfort and style. Now that sounds like my kind of theatre!
Source: JoBlo.com



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