Like untold millions of other proud Americans, I’m going to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows this weekend. I’ve already purchased my tickets, which (living in New York City) cost $13 a piece, plus a pre-release surcharge. If I wanted to spring for IMAX tickets, it would cost $18. That is ridiculous — especially since, like most moviegoers, I’m incapable of enjoying a movie without a bag of (overpriced) popcorn and a medium cup of cherry coke. And I’m just seeing the movie with my girlfriend. What’s a family of four to do? Now, admittedly, New York prices are notoriously expensive, but if you ask me, theater tickets all over the country are too goshdarn pricey. Especially considering all the added charges for (mostly awful) 3-D movies, isn’t it time we ask ourselves: Are swelling ticket prices ruining the moviegoing experience?
When you know for a fact that a single date night at the movies will cost upwards of $25 (and that’s if you smuggle in snacks), you’re generally less likely to take a chance on a movie. Some friends and I had planned to go and see the remake of Clash of the Titans, but on opening weekend it was only playing in 3-D at all the local theaters — and we simply couldn’t rationalize the massive 3-D ticket cost with our knowledge that Clash was probably going to be just okay at best. Conversely, I actually went to go see Charlie St. Cloud, which was a bad movie, but it was made even worse by the knowledge that I could’ve spent my money purchasing four episodes of Mad Men on iTunes. Or renting a couple movies. Or donating to my favorite charity. Or flushing my money down the drain so that the baby alligators in the sewers could use my $10 bill as a blanket.
PopWatchers, are you annoyed by high ticket prices? Have you ever purposefully avoided a movie because you just didn’t think it was worth the price of admission? Did anyone pay the full 3-D cost for The Last Airbender, and if so, are you considering a class-action lawsuit?