Monday, June 29, 2009

Who's killing movie theaters?

I've been thinking of writing this for over a year. Our excursion to see Night at the Museum 2 was the straw that broke the camel's back.

A year ago, I read an article about Hollywood bitching and moaning about how piracy is destroying movie theaters and how because of piracy and internet people are not going to the movies anymore. While this was laughable then, now, it's absolutely hilarious.

Two weeks ago when we went to see night at the museum, we were charged a very "reasonable" price of $12.50 per ticket. For two people, that's $25. If you don't have a car, add another $8 for transportation which, starting this Sunday, is now $9. If you want popcorn, add at least $4.50. Your trip to the movies is now costing you at least $38.50.

Now, if you go to see the movie in it's first week, you'll see it on a nice big screen. If you go to see it in its third week, the screen is now half the size while the ticket price is surprisingly same.

What do you get for your $38.50? Well, the current movies are made up of mostly sequels, remakes and cliches, in most cases, bad ones. So, after spending time and money and you don't even enjoy the experience.

What is really killing movie theaters? The ever rising ticket prices which are not even scaled to the size of the screen. The 1000%+ markup for food. The lack of talented writers, enough with the remakes already! Not to mention the current trend of replacing plot, story and acting with special effects.

Going to a movie is now costing the price of one, if not two, brand new DVDs. Now, considering how cheap and convenient Netflix is, instead of buying the DVDs, you can save up the money for a big screen TV or even a projector. And don't forget, the bonus of watching movies at home is the pause button for bathroom breaks and the only people screaming at the screen are your idiot friends.

How much are you paying for movies? Two people, driving to the theater and not buying any food, once in two weeks, are spending $650 per year. Add public transportation, and/or food, and/or more frequent visits and you're looking at over $1,000 year. Cost of an HD projector? 720p start at around $600, plus a $100 for a good screen. 42" LCD, 720p, about same price.

17 comments:

  1. Don't forget having to come there at least 30 minutes early to make sure to get a normal seat and to make sure the movie's not sold out. Buying tickets online adds even more to the price.

    And then there's parking if you drive or dealing with MTA's weekend schedule if you don't. 90 minute movie turns into a waste of three freaking hours.

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  2. I get 2 free tickets on Tuesdays weekly and discounts I think on up to five more (that's not limited by day of the week). If you and Leah are ever in Manhattan and are up for a movie, let me know.

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  3. Oh, it was me in the last message. Alan

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  4. And don't forget that *AFTER* you've arrived early, as Moshe said, to ensure yourself a seat that is not located in the front two rows, and *AFTER* you've paid a hefty surcharge in ensure that you aren't sold out over an hour before showtime, you have the SPECIAL TREAT of getting to watch 20+ minutes of commercials and trailers.....

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  5. i still am a sucker who goes to the movies, but i do agree with you that it has become quite a rip off.

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  6. Ibrahim, during the week is kinda sucky what with kids and all. Though if it's free...

    G6, I don't mind the trailers, but these new commercials are getting annoying.

    FS, if you have an unlimited metrocard and only paying for one person, it's not so bad. Still, it's a waste of time.

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  7. You make a very good case. Not to meantion the Tumah from being in a place so filled with shmutz ;P

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  8. movie execs would argue that the predatory pricing you desribe is to recoup losses from piracy.

    and even assuming that predatory pricing motivates piracy, it doesn't justify it either. nobody forces anyone to watch movies.

    personally i think that rampant piracy is due to the proliferation of cheap and accessible technology.

    but yeah, it is prohibitively expensive to go the movies these days. i love going to the movies, but i only rarely go if i feel that it is a movie whose experience is better on a big screen. i would never pay to see a comedy in a theater.)

    and i did feel ripped off recently when i went to see star trek imax on 42nd st. i don't think it's a fullsize imax screen, but it wasn't any cheaper.

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  9. People going to movies less is not a result of piracy. People who like going to the movies do it for the big screen and sound experience, especially those going in first week. You can sorta claim that piracy affects DVD sales.

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  10. Good case, and great idea.

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  11. I used to love going to movies such a good thing to do for a night out and such. Now, the few times a year I go, I always feel bad for wasting the money.

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  12. After watching War of the Worlds, I was so pissed off...

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  13. It's great that there's another way of saying DVD's are better than movie theaters!

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  14. I only go for the 3D effect. If there is no 3D or special effects I wait until it's on cable.

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  15. Cable doesn't have specials. Netflix!

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