Lena and I went to the movies with my brother, sister, and her boyfriend a few days ago. Since it was Shrek’sopening weekend we decided to go see Disturbia. I like when there are other people in the theatre with me, but I also like to be able to hear the movie.
As a couple, Lena and I don’t go to a lot of movies at the theater, and when we do, it’s generally early in the day, during the work week. We were both a bit sticker-shocked when we saw $9.00 a ticket pop up on the screen. The last time I’d paid evening prices for a movie it was $7.50, and that wasn’t very long ago at all. We did it anyway, but for what we paid for the movie and just our dinners later that night, I could easily have hosted the whole group at my house for dinner, two movies from Blockbuster, and enough beer to keep us all happy.
I mean really. What’s the deal? Nine bucks? Is this just because I have Netflix? Yes, I used to go to the movies all the time. Yes, I have learned to delay my gratification for 3 to 6 months until things come out on DVD. Do I really need to get slapped in the face for it?
Spiderman 3 set a new record for an opening day at a hair under $60 million, and isn’t likely to keep the top spot past the opening of the next Pirates movie. Both of those are expected to fall to Harry Potter. It seems obvious to me that the theaters aren’t really hurting all that badly, otherwise their openings would be going down, not up.
As for me, my response to the increased ticket price is the same as it has always been, to raise the threshold for which I am willing to see a movie in the theater at all. I’m sure I will see Pirates and Harry Potter in the theater, but Shrek can certainly wait until Netflix catches up with it. That I know of, those will likely be the only two movies I’ll leave the house to watch for the rest of the year. I’ll miss the crowds, the smell of popcorn and yellow salted grease, and even the inevitable and completely entertaining running commentary. (My favorite audience comment from Disturbia: Woman #1: “Oo girl — why she goin’ in that man’s house? That girl is stupid!” Woman #2: “That girl ain’t stupid. She crazy!” At this point, our section of the theater totally cracked up laughing. It was a beautiful shared moment between 30 or so fleetingly intimate people in a darkened room.)
In case you’re wondering, Disturbia was a very good movie. It was well acted, and very cleverly written, on every level it chose to tackle. There isn’t a release date for the DVD yet, though you shouldn’t have to wait longer than the standard 3 months. Put it on your Netflix list.