As an avid movie fan, I watch a lot of movies. I’m talking a lot! To reign in the price of this obsession, lately I have been watching almost all of my movies at home instead of at the theaters. For most films, it simply isn’t worth spending more than triple the price. And that’s without buying snacks! There are plenty of other perks too.
Admission Ticket Inflation
Over the years, admission ticket pricing has gone up considerably for movies. They did drop a bit as sales declined a while back, but it’s still quite expensive. At most theaters it is minimum $10 per person. Then they sucker you in with all the 3D movies where they can justify charging nearly double. When watching a movie at a theater it is often the big budget movies that you want the full experience. So pass me my 3D goggles and take my money sir.
Meanwhile at home, you could wait for the movie to be released on DVD and pay $4 to rent it for you and your friends or family. Or movie kiosks like RedBox are as low as $1 for a movie rental…or even lower with Redbox codes. So ‘triple the price’ is actually an understatement. Depending on how many people are watching with you, the price difference for the movie alone can be staggering.
Some people rent their movies online saving even more money. I haven’t jumped on this trend yet, but it is probably something I should look into. I did hear about free full length movies on youtube. The trick to that option is to connect your computer to your tv so that you don’t have to watch on a small screen.
Another way to save money on theater admission is to buy movie gift certificates which are often cheaper than regular admission. Some theaters offer rewards cards for frequent visitors, but those could lead to more theater visits than normal. At least you would be getting something in return for all those theater visits.
Or you can use the classic trick of sneaking into a 2nd movie on the same ticket. It may help to step into the bathroom in between to be less obvious. Unfortunately some theaters combat this practice by doing ticket checks upon entering a specific movie.
Bloated Concession Pricing
When you watch a movie at a theater, it seems mandatory to get some popcorn or some other snack. With the buttery smell emanating throughout the lobby, it is hard to pass up. You know if you don’t buy some you’re just just going to be jealously eying the people eating popcorn around you. Now who wants to ruin their theater experience with jealousy?
Then comes the reality of how much they jack up the prices. While you can make a bowl of popcorn at home for less than a dollar, at a theater that price skyrockets to $3-5. Ditto for soda pricing…$1 for a 2-liter bottle at home or $3-5 from the theater concession. If you want some chocolate or candy to go with that, add another $2-3. Or if your local theater happens to have an in-house fast food restaurant, those prices are usually double what’s in the mall food-court.
The prices are excessive and you often end up with more than you actually need. The truth of the matter is that theaters make the bulk of their profits from concession food and drink sales. Concession sales are mostly all profit, while the bulk of the ticket prices goes to the company that made the movie.
When I do go to the theater, I usually make a point of smuggling in at least a small snack. That’s when it’s beneficial for a woman to bring a nice big purse to easily conceal whatever snack you crave. Just remember to not sit at the very front where the usher can notice that you’re eating something they don’t sell. And don’t count on the guy who’s eying your food to not rat you out. If he’s drooling a bit too, it might be worth offering him a bribe of some of your food.
Other Advantages To Movies At Home
In addition to the cost savings, there are plenty of other benefits to choosing to watch movies at home. There is just more overall flexibility and comfort.
You are free to wear your pajamas and sprawl out across your couch. If you get a phone call or have to use the washroom, you can easily pause the movie. The movie also starts on your schedule and not the theater’s. Smoking or drinking alcohol is an option at home too.
Plus if you want to talk away during the movie, you aren’t bothering a whole theater full of people. And there’s nobody periodically kicking your seat from behind.
Your overall selection is much greater if you choose to view movies at home. There are plenty of excellent websites that let you order DVDs online, with thousands of titles to choose from. You could literally watch a new movie every week, for the rest of your life, without repeating one title. Better yet, you can even order 3D films online, providing a home experience that cannot be replicated in most theaters. The real kicker is that these 3D movies are cheaper to purchase than the tickets to the theater. Some even argue that they provide a more immersive experience.
Really, there are few drawbacks besides having to wait for new movies. Of course, you might not agree if you have a small tv or extra distractions at home. For some people it’s just a personal preference, but you can’t argue with the price difference.
Here’s some angry ranting about what he hates about going to the theater. Funny stuff..
Which do you prefer? Do you go out to the theater often or is it more of a rare occasion?