Movie Tickets $20 in NYC – Will Moviegoers Still Pay?

     May 21, 2010

Movie Tickets slice $20

While ticket prices have been inching up over the past few months, movie theaters in New York City are about to push it even further as the AMC theater in Manhattan’s Kips Bay neighborhood, AMC Loews 34, AMC Loews Lincoln Square and the AMC Empire 42nd Street are all going to charge $20 dollars a ticket for Shrek Forever After in IMAX 3D this weekend.

Granted, recent showtimes for DreamWorks How to Train Your Dragon were $19.50 at some of the same theaters, but that was below the $20 psychological barrier.  That .50 cents really makes a difference.  More after the jump:

Movie TicketWith this new price increase, it brings me to something I’ve been meaning to talk about for a long time: different prices for movie tickets.

When I go and see a huge Hollywood spectacle….something that costs $200 million dollars like a Star Trek or an Iron Man 2, I would understand having to pay more for a ticket.  But at the same time, when I go to see a documentary or a drama that features two people talking for 120 minutes, the price should be lower.

Many wonder why independent movies aren’t doing as well as in previous years.  I’d argue it’s ticket prices and large screen TV’s.  After all, if you have a huge TV at home with a great sound system, many are starting to realize they can get almost the same enjoyment watching on their couch and they won’t have to pay $50 dollars to see it in a theater (tickets and food).  Mind you, I’m not talking about people that see movies every weekend…I’m talking about normal folks that go to the movies occasionally.

The fact is, charging people $15 dollars for a ticket to Avatar and then trying to charge them the same price for a small indie film is crazy.

I think if theaters had tiered pricing based on your seat (like they do in some countries in Europe) and what movie it is would help get people to see more movies.

But I’m a little off track.  The fact is, $20 dollars is a lot of money to charge for one ticket.  Would I pay $20 dollars to see a movie…. probably. But it would have to be a big budget spectacle and something I REALLY want to see.  But I’m a huge movie nerd and I love going to a movie theater to see movies.  I am not the norm.

So…would you pay $20 dollars to see a movie?  Leave your comments below. I’m very curious.

(via WSJ)

20 dollar bill

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  • Monika

    Ya, the price is going higher and higher. And i also agree .50 cent difference will play a role. But i am sure people will pay $20 for Shrek Forever After . I am sure this will be another entertaining movie.

  • JusticeBorn7

    I refuse to pay $20 for a movie. I'll pay $9.00 and sneak into the IMAX like I did two weeks ago foe Iron Man 2.

  • SaveMyMoney

    I live in NYC and decided long ago that if I didn't have to see the movie, then I wasn't going to pay 19.50, so I certainly won't be paying $20 to see shrek or any other movie in IMAX 3D. I have HD projector, a 120 inch wide screen, a blu-ray player and a sound system. I'm more than happy to let my netflix cue keep me entertained. I was all about Imax a few years ago, but the greed of the theater owners and the studios is more than off putting. There is no reason for these price hikes, they just want more money, so I say fuck them.

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  • VALENTINEproductions

    I live in here in New York and those are basically the theatres I visit, but I can honestly say as the prices have been inclining my visists have been declining. I'm not paying 20bux to see a movie. Fuck that. I go all the way uptown where u ay 8 bux and can basically walk into any other movie right after that. They need to bring back the old days where you can stay after the show and see the movie play again right after. That's only fair.

  • tone

    These studio heads are going the same way as CD prices a few years back and the ever costlier prices for sports events. They're pricing so many people out of these things. I refuse to pay twenty bucks. I try to catch them around $9 or $10 (matinees). And the fact is that between the garbage they're pumping out and the higher ticket prices, I'm seeing a lot less movies than I used to.

    And the 61″ DLP, blu-ray and sound bar make that an easier decision.

  • Shane

    Here in Australia it costs $20 (and I think even more for adults) for any 3D movie and it's not even in IMAX… soo yeah.

  • Amber

    No way. Back in the day my bf and I would see 2 sometimes 3 movies on our day off and paid for them all. These days we see most of our movies matinee (flexible work schedules). 3D kinds ups the ante, but 20 bucks, effem. It seems like such blatant disregard for the average working stiff in this economy.

  • IllusionOfLife

    I want to say that if movie prices got over $10 where I live I would stop going, but I know that I couldn't do that. I'm too much of a movie nerd and when I want to see a movie, I'm not content waiting until blu-ray, even with the great set-up I have.

    Ticket prices are absolutely disgusting though, and something needs to change. I don't personally know what the answer is, but there's got to be something.

  • k0rrupt

    Aren't Blu Rays as expensive as films though?

  • k0rrupt

    Its about £7.50 in the UK but the high prices are mainly for evening shows, in the afternoon (and if you're a student like me) you can get into films for £5.40.

    $20 does seem a bit extorionate to what a two hour (or even less) film. Some people complain about ticket prices in the UK but if they were ever that ammount they would cost £14 which unless it is an imax presentation will not happen for normal theatrical exhibition

  • MCP

    Damn, that sucks.
    Guess that's one good thing living in Memphis, Tn.
    Only $7.50, for matinee, and $10.00 at night; $3 extra for 3D.
    Still have the DLP projectors as well.
    Hopefully it will stay their till at least next year.

    Ya, home theater quality seems to be better, at least for me.
    My 42″ 120 Hz. has smoother motion than the projectors, plus surround sound, so I've been going much less than before.

    Here's our local theater chain, if anyone is interested.

    End of Line

  • Taylor

    And they wonder why so many people are turning to piracy of their movies….

  • junierizzle

    I wouldn't pay $20 to see Shrek 4 that's for sure. As long as they still offer it in regular 2D then it shouldn't be a problem. So no, I wouldn't pay $20 for a 3D/IMAX movie when I can pay $10 to see it in 2D. If a movie is good, it's good. You don't need 3D or even IMAX for that matter.
    Luckily I don't live in NY. Here in the lovely city of Los Angeles, tix are $13 for IMAX, $11 for a matinee. Some theatres charge $7.50 for a matinee, two more bucks for 3D.
    You don't have to see movies at night. Catch a flick on your day off during the week. Or if you work, catch the matinee during the weekends.

    In conclusion, NO I wouldn't pay $20 to see a movie. Luckily I don't have to, yet.

  • Mike

    My problem is the difference in pricing from where you live. I visit Memphis and the theater I go to is super cheap, and a large popcorn and soda is like $8 with refills. So to see $20 ticket would make me stay home. However this is IMAX/Fake Imax, something that is not seen often. So, if everyday movies move to $20, then we will be talking the death nail of movie going.

  • Kieran

    Bottom line: 20 dollars is too much. That being said, theaters know that people won't stop seeing movies because of the increase. But I will. I'm a student at SVA in Manhattan and can't afford these prices. Too bad, since my major is film :(

  • Matt

    This is madness I will not pay 20 for one ticket to a movie people should stop going. send them a message ASAP!

  • 20 Bucks?

    Is it just me, or are we starting to pay prices as high as the DVDs now for movie tickets?

  • Yelimsexa

    With simply two tickets for one movie, you're already paying more than you would for the DVD in most cases! The technology of home entertainment has really caught up with the silver screen over the past couple decades, and I feel movie theaters will be going the way of the Drive-In. It took a couple decades for Drive-ins to really fade away, but as the devoted moviegoers get old, so will the theaters. (Except in a few touristy locations such as NYC and LA, though be prepared to pay!)

  • Yeshbiistchitzme

    i will Not Pay $2O to see no movie. I rather get the $5 from those people that sell them in the street.