American Morning

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March 27th, 2009
12:01 PM ET

Movie Buff Seeks Bailout

American Morning's resident movie buff pleads with Congress for a bailout.
American Morning's resident movie buff pleads with Congress for a bailout.

CNN’s Kareen Wynter recently filed a report on how the movie business is one of the few industries whose bottom line has actually improved despite the struggling economy. You can check it out here.

The movie studios may be thriving, but their success is taking a heavy toll on the wallets of movie buffs everywhere, and I’m one of them. According to the National Association of Theater Owners, the current average movie ticket price is $7.20. When you hear that number, it’s easy to understand why a night at the movies might seem like an economically sensible form of entertainment in these tough economic times.

However, I reside in Manhattan, and the average ticket price (along with the price of just about everything else) is much, much higher than $7.20. In fact, it’s nearly twice that. Seeing a movie at a New York multiplex costs me upwards of $12.50 a pop (sometimes you’re lucky enough to pay $11). Of course, senior citizens and young children have it easier since their discount closely resembles the national average. In Manhattan, not even college students can catch a break. I have yet to find one theater that offers a student discount, and I’ve been to a quite a few.

So if you’re a dedicated movie fan who relishes the big screen experience, you better be prepared to make a considerable monetary investment. These days, when you ask someone how often they go to the movies, you might get this common response: “Oh, I usually just wait for it to come out on Netflix.”

The majority of the movie-buff community, however, just doesn’t have that kind of patience and will happily fork over the big bucks to stay ahead of the cinematic curve.

I, for one, like to see as many of the Oscar-nominated movies as I can before the ceremony. It’s difficult for me to watch the telecast without truly understanding the merits of the nominated work. Consequentially, I have to pay the economic price. Over the course of a couple of months, I traveled to the cinema no less than a dozen times in order to study up before the big night. The sky-high Manhattan ticket prices forced me to cough up around $200 in cold hard cash. That doesn’t take into account the price of concessions or the rare occasion that I had to pay for my date.

Well now that I’m just about done paying my debt, the trailers for all of the big, summer tent-pole event-movies have begun to emerge. I’ve already pinpointed at least twenty that I consider to be “must-sees.”

Don’t get me wrong… it’s my choice to see so many movies before they’re available to rent; and it’s my choice to pay the exorbitant prices that the Big Apple demands. What sometimes makes it all worth it, however, is when you get your money’s worth: you enjoy the movie, the sound and picture quality are outstanding and the popcorn is just buttery enough. When all those elements come together, you begin to understand the reason for the existence of the movie-buff, and why he or she keeps coming back for more.

GRAHAM’S TOP 10 MOST ANTICIPATED MOVIES OF THE SUMMER:
BRUNO
DRAG ME TO HELL
FUNNY PEOPLE
G.I. JOE: RISE OF COBRA
INGLORIOUS BASTERDS
PUBLIC ENEMIES
STAR TREK
TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN
UP
WHATEVER WORKS


Filed under: Economy • Pop Culture
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