It was a rainy day today, so my wife and I decided that we should go and see a movie. We called up Grandma and asked if she would be
123 movie willing to look after the kids for a few hours, and she was happy to spend some extra time with the little ones. So, after finally agreeing to go and see the new Men In Black 3 movie, we got into the car and headed to our local Cineplex theatre. When we arrived, we walked up to the ticket machine, requested 2 general admission tickets and then proceeded to pay. For the two tickets at this particular Cineplex, the grand total was $21.00, which seemed pretty reasonable. Next, we proceeded over to the concession stands to consider our options for a snack. We didn’t want to get too elaborate, so we settled on a large popcorn, 2 regular sized drinks and a small bag of candy. Fortunately, my wife has a ‘SCENE’ card (a promotional card that rewards purchases with points and lowers the cost of some goods when presented at time of purchase). However, even with the card, the snacks cost us another $21.00!! Now, we’re not talking about pizza and fries, or hot dogs and energy drinks here….we’re talking about one of the cheapest snacks known to mankind….due to the sheer abundance of raw materials available on this continent, popcorn costs mere pennies to produce, but apparently commands a GIANT price tag to consume when purchased at a movie theatre! As well, those large cups of soda are quite expensive as well (after they fill your cup with Ice, there might be the equivalent of one standard can of soda in that cup). The way I figure it, we probably got the equivalent of 1/4 a cup of popped corn kernels, 2 cans of pop and a bag of candy that could be purchased at a local grocery store for about $2. Based on some quick research that I have done, a pound of popcorn kernels is equal to about 4 cups of kernels, and a 1/4 cup of kernels will yield approximately 8 cups of popped popcorn. So 4 cups of kernels will yield about 128 cups of popped popcorn! Oh and wait!, it’s important to note that a pound of popcorn kernels costs about $2.00, so as you can see, you can produce approximately 128 cups of popcorn for about $2.00! Keeping these figures in mind, it cost the movie theatre approximately 13 cents for our large bag of popcorn, another couple of bucks for our soft drinks (calculated at a retail cost of $1 per can of soda), and about $2 or $3 for the bag of candy…for a grand total of about $5! In turn, they charged us $21.00 for those snacks!! That represents a mark-up of over 400%! As a result of this, it cost my wife and I just over $40.00 to see a movie today…and that was at a Cineplex where the price of the general admission tickets are much lower than those found at the same theatres in larger cities, where it’s not uncommon to find admission prices ranging from $12 to $18 per person!
With pricing like this, it is little wonder why piracy has become such a large issue in today’s society. After all, imagine if instead of Men In Black 3, my wife and I had decided to take our kids to the movies with us and take in a children’s movie. Even with the cheaper kids ticket and concession costs factored in, the costs associated with such an endeavor would balloon to somewhere between $70 – $90! In the current economy, families are looking for affordable entertainment, and I do not believe that our local movie theatres are doing a very good job of providing that. Instead, families are more likely to download a newly released movie, pop up some popcorn on the stove and crack open some beverages found in the fridge… then curl up on the sofas and lazy boy chairs and have a family movie night. The costs associated with the stay at home movie night are likely under $10 bucks, and you don’t have to worry about the obnoxious teenagers 3 rows behind tossing popcorn at you, while texting and speaking on their cellphones!