Remember when it was outrageous to go to a movie theater because a $7-$10 admission ticket paired with an $8 tub of popcorn and a $6 soda for just one person was breaking banks nation wide? You haven’t seen anything yet.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that multiple movie theaters in New York City — where prices have consistently remained highest — is charging a nice round $20 fee to see Shrek Forever After in their 3D IMAX theaters. That’s right — if you plan on taking your family of four out for a night to see the kids’ beloved Shrek, Donkey, Fiona, and Puss in Boots, it will easily run you more than $100 if you add a snack or liquid refreshment.
If this catches on, it could mean that theaters everywhere could be charging as much as it costs us to BUY & OWN the movie on Blu-ray or DVD just to see the flick one time, one sunny afternoon.
Some may be okay with this, but a lot more will not be at all. Movies like Shrek and others will start losing money at the box office because people will not want to pay this much for a one-time show. Again, this is New York City and prices have always been a hell of a lot higher there than they are here in little ol’ New Hampshire, but you can’t help but react to it as a possible sign of the times. For those of you who live in NYC and want to know where to avoid, the theaters involved in this $20 movement include the AMC theater in Manhattan’s Kips Bay neighborhood, AMC Loews 34, AMC Loews Lincoln Square, and AMC Empire 42nd Street.
What’s the most interesting thing about this to me? We just found out recently that the FCC had approved the MPAA’s request to allow newly-released films to be offered in people’s homes only a short time after theatrical openings (Read: Brand New Movies Soon To Be Available In Your Home; The Death Of Theaters Imminent? ). The biggest concern in that was the fact that it could very well spell the end for movie theaters as we know them. This is something that I and most others do NOT want, despite how much we would love having the option to order a movie at home if we don’t feel like dealing with crowds and cinema annoyances.
With this news, theaters who take part will now have to take some of the blame in the event of their demise. You can’t complain about people having the option to order a movie at home and then turn around and charge multi-hours worth of someone’s salary to see a 90-minute movie.
On the other hand, the Wall Street Journal had another story running just today reporting that major Hollywood studios were now in talks with cable provider Time Warner Cable to offer movies 30-days after release for $20-$30. If this is the case, it’s just as bad. If the option is to pay $20 to see a movie on a giant IMAX screen the day it comes out or $30 to see it at home 30-days later, people will likely just keep going to theaters.
If the at-home option is going to work while preserving theaters, I believe a 30-day or more period is crucial, but the price has to be a lot more acceptable than that.
The future of movies — in theater prices and the viewing options of the future — is movie forward at rapid, vicious speeds now. These changes and ideas are fittingly coming at us like freakin’ Roland Emmerich movie.
What do you think of all of this? Speak your minds!