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MSN Money Identifies Movie Tickets and Theater Popcorn as "Overpriced Things Americans Hate Paying For"

Posted on Tuesday, August 25th, 2009 2:49 PM

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MSN Money has a fluff piece titled 15 Overpriced Things We Hate Paying For, which highlights normal items that are suddenly more expensive than they should be as a result of timing, location, or no good reason whatsoever. Moviegoers can find solace in two items on the list, where movie tickets and movie theater popcorn are called out for costing too much.

There's no in-depth analysis here (big surprise, right?), but they mention that popcorn that has been popped for you and sold at a concession stand is roughly ten times the price of the same stuff you can toss in your microwave at home. This is after you've purchased a movie ticket, which can be North of $10 per person at many theaters.

Feel free to check out the article for yourself (click the Read link below), but don't expect much more than what has already been described here.

There is so much that could be picked on with that slideshow/article on MSN Money, but I'll limit my criticism to the fact that they don't mention how to sidestep the elevated prices of tickets and concessions. I'm not talking about stuffing your parka with homemade popcorn, but rather the fact that many movie theaters have discount programs, coupon offers, and other promotions which can get you big discounts on both tickets and concessions.

So, you tell us. Do you think movie tickets and concessions are overpriced? Do you skip the snacks, or do you hunt for coupons and discounts? Do you wait for something to come out on video instead? Submit your comments below!

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Please Note: These comments are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

Aug 28, 2009 - DavidEMartin  

Theaters rationalize the overpricing of things like popcorn by sying things like "We don't make any money on the actual tickets. It's the concessions that actually pay for the theater operations."
I've read elsewhere that the cost of the paper bucket is actually higher than the cost of the popcorn that went into it.

But tickets have gotten way out of hand, especially in this Bush-bashed economy. The local Marcus chain is now charging up to $16 a seat for evening shows.
The 3D boom has also been a source of additional unwarranted gouging. The 3D glasses are reusable but Marcus charges you for a new pair regardless of whether you want them or not. So for a party of four, there goes $12 !
Theaters need to spemnd their money more smartly. The Marcus chain, for example, has been demolishing perfectly functional theaters and replace them with unnecessarily posh operations. By any impartial judgement, tearing down the West Town and Westown theaters and replacing them with the pompous Majestic was a boneheaded move.

My advice-- wait a month and watch the films at the local Budget Cinema. 

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