This should come as no surprise — movie ticket prices are more expensive than ever, an average of $8.12 according to the National Association of Theater Owners, the other NATO.
This is a national average, including higher prices for 3-D movies against lower prices for children and discounts for military and seniors. The price is just about double the $4.35 of a decade ago, according to New York Magazine.
In New York City, where I live, prices are on the higher end — $12 and $13 for first-run films, even for foreign films in so-called ‘art’ houses, and $15 and more for 3-D blockbusters. Add in the cost of popcorn, soda, parking or a babysitter, and you have a very expensive night out.
The rising price of movie tickets is the reason I’ve always thought weekly box office numbers should be in terms of the number of tickets sold, not the dollar value of the tickets.
It didn’t cost an average $8.12 to see blockbusters of the past like Gone With the Wind, Ten Commandments, On the Waterfront, Wizard of Oz or The Godfather. Admission prices of 25 cents or $2.50, more or less, simply fall off the chart against admission prices of $8.12, more or less.
However, one film I would pay $12.50 to see on the big screen is Singin’ in the Rain, which many people — including me — rate as the best Hollywood movie musical ever made. 2012 is this classic film’s 60th anniversary, Warner Bros. and Turner Movie Classics (TCM) are bringing it back to movie theaters nationwide for one night only, August 22nd. This special event is hosted by TCM’s Robert Osborne, with special guest Debbie Reynolds, who stars with Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor. Click here to find a theater near you and buy tickets.
- Click here for a 30 second video of Singin’ in the Rain
Gene Kelly was a multi-talented singer, dancer, actor, choreographer and director, who never made $80 million a movie, as many of today’s less talented performers earn. Neither did Clark Gable, Charlton Heston, Marlon Brando, Judy Garland or Al Pacino. That’s certainly part of the ever-increasing cost of Hollywood film production.
But back to my original premise — movie box office receipts be rated by the number of tickets sold, rather than their dollar price. Do you agree?