A Cheap Night at the Movies. Not.


Remember when going to the movies was a cheap night out?  Probably not.  To see the next big box-office hit, Titanic in 3D, moviegoers will have to fork over $15.00 a ticket.  That steep price doesn’t even include the stylish 3D glasses, which are an extra $3.50 at most theaters.  The regular, non-3D, evening movies go for $10 a pop.

While you might be sick of grandma and grandpa’s “remember the good old days when…”, there is no exaggeration when it comes to theater prices.

  • In 1936, the average US movie ticket was $0.25
  • In 1961, the average US movie ticket was $0.69
  • In 1986, the average US movie ticket was $3.71
  • In 2001, the average US movie ticket was $5.66

For a family of four to go see Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, they would spend $40.00 on tickets alone.  Add another $16 for four large sodas, $7.50 for a large popcorn, and $8.00 for two candy bars… and you’ve just spent 75 bucks.  Let’s hope its a good 120-minute-feature film.  According to Bradd Tuttle, from Slate, it is estimated that movie theaters make 85% profit at the concessions stand.

The most ironic aspect of this top-dollar movie-going experience is that if you wait between three and four months, the movie can be rented for only $1.09 from Redbox.  Pick up your movie, a 24-pack of Coke, a bag of Reeses and a bag of Hershey’s bars, and a box of popcorn for less than $25.  Now, there’s the bang for your buck. The question then is are you willing to wait if it means saving that much money?