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Theater Owners Set to Raise Movie Prices

Posted April 28th, 2010
by Staff

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past several decades, you’ve probably noticed that the cost for a movie ticket has risen dramatically over the past few years. (Then again, maybe you’re Amish. Or just don’t like movies.) In any case, it’s almost gotten to the place where taking a family of 5 to go to the movies, you need to take out a second mortgage, a personal loan, and a cash advance on your credit card. Unless, of course, someone happens to want both Goobers and Popcorn, in which case you need to sell some plasma as well.

Today, however, there’s something else going on. The success of the new 3-D blockbuster films such as “Avatar” has theater owners licking their lips. Theater owners are raising their prices on 3-D tickets by as much as 25 percent. In part, this move comes to recoup higher costs. On top of that, however, the owners are trying to make the best of a booming box office and the increased demand for 3-D movies.

It is expected that the cost of regular 2-D movies will also increase, although not as dramatically. The price of a 2-D ticket is expected to go up around 5 percent.

Higher-demand tickets, however, such as a prized 3-D IMAX ticket, could rise to nearly $20 apiece. Some theaters in more densely populated areas, such as Los Angeles and New York, may begin to charge even more for tickets.

The rate changes going into effect will, of course, vary by chain. Some theater chains are raising their prices across the board, while other chains are just raising IMAX or 3-D show prices. Two of the biggest theater chains in the country, AMC and Regal, are both expected to raise prices.

Successful 3-D box office hits from the past year or two have made tons of money. Avatar broke all sorts of records in sales, even if it had lackluster performance at the Oscars. Tim Burton’s interpretation of Alice in Wonderland was at the top of the movie charts for three weeks, and took in $300 million or more. Many more 3-D movies are in the works and slated for release this year.

Photo via Alan Light

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