Sunday, August 28, 2005

Going to the movies...

Movie ticket prices have been steadily increasing in price, to the point now where I really must want to see a movie to go see it. I mean, really, ticket prices are just out of control. Why would I pay $10 to go see a movie that I might not like? If I'm going to pay $10 for 2 hours of entertainment, it better be the best movie ever made.

Movie studios are always whining about people pirating movies and using that as an explanation of why ticket prices have sky-rocketed. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I don't buy it. Part of it has got to be inflation as well, but in my eyes, movie prices should be going down, not up. Why? Because movie theaters have managed to cram in as much advertising before the movie starts that their ad revenue alone should be able to cover the costs of the movie.

I want my movies for free if I'm going to be subjected to continuous advertising while I wait for the movie to start. FREE. Like TV. I don't have to pay the television network so that I can watch "24" or "Survivor" or whatever else comes on TV. Why? Because I am forced to sit through commercials (well I used to have to sit through commercials and then Tivo came along). Ad revenue pays for the programming. In the movie theater we are being screwed because we are basically paying the movie theater to make more money off of us by subjecting us to annoying commercials.

It's not that I hate advertising so much. O.k. I do, but I think there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it. I remember when the advertising in the theaters amounted to a few non-obtrusive slides that rotated innocuously on the big-screen against the subtle drone of some bad elevator music. That was cool because at least you could get to the theater a little early (to make sure you weren't sitting in the front row) but still carry on a conversation without having to scream over loud, flashing commercials.

Advertisers like Coke, M&Ms, Levi's, television networks, cell phone companies, etc, etc. must shell out beaucoup bucks to have their names paraded around in front of a captive audience waiting patiently for their movie to start. That drives me crazy.

What is my solution? Luckily for me, there is a theater nearby that is independently owned and still charges only $3 for a matinee movie and $5 for a prime showing. They only have 3 theaters (very limited movie choice here) and the theaters are pretty crappy but you get what you pay for. To make it even better, they don't play any crappy commercials while you wait for the movie to start.

If a movie that I absolutely must see is not playing at my dear cheap-o theater we always try to go matinee. Ticket prices are cheaper and afternoon showings are typically less crowded so you don't have to show up as early to get good seats.

Also, I haven't done this, but I know that you can buy discounted bulk movie tickets at Costco. 5 tickets to AMC will run about $37.50 and 5 tickets to Regal will run $34.99, so you can get matinee prices at any time.

And last but not least, I Netflix any movie that I may be interested in seeing but am not dying to see right away.

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7 comments:

Bailey said...

I totally agree with you on the absurd number of ads they show before the beginning of the movie. If I'm paying those prices, I am bothered that they subjegate me to those ads.

I also get annoyed that people get all quiet and watch the ads like a movie. I make it a point to talk loudly during the ads. Just like I would at home during a commerical break.

Jérôme said...

My sister is doing the same : she's going to the "cheap-o-theater" (which is run by a municipal association or something like that, and it's not crappy , just small). So she watch the movie for a half to a third of the average price.
I'm not fond of cinema so i can never watch movies and be fine with it. However i don't mind paying up to 9 or 10 € (euros) for a crappy movie at the theater because first , I don't go to the theater often, and second,it's just about going out with friends so i don't really care spending a little money (I could throw these 10 € in drinks at a bar with the same friends)
p.s : at last, I'm using my true nick to comment your blog ^_-

LadyBug said...

I agree with you. I haven't been to a movie theatre in a long time because I simply haven't been able to afford it. I'll wait for stuff to come on video and pay three bucks for it.

Other people really make me angry too because they just can't be quite. All in all, I'd rather not go to a movie theatre. Thanks for the great post!

kmac said...

I think it's crazy how much they charge for movies now...we won't go to the theater unless we absolutely positively know we will LOVE the movie.

In other words, about once a year.

Maybe. :)

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Ivan said...

You hit the nail on the head, why should you have to pay to see a commercial. You pay to watch a movie not the advertising. I live in New Zealand and the same thing happens on our pay TV channels. Before every movie there is advertising, I thought the idea behind, paying to watch TV, that the stations could avoid advertising but that is not the case. I don't mind watching ads on free tv because I know that is why it is free.
The Cheap Bastard

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