Are You Ready to Pay Upwards of $19.50 for a 3D Movie?

I could write an article about 3D and how much I dislike it every single day it seems like. As a matter of fact, only a couple of days ago local Seattle publicity asked Seattle press if they would prefer a 2D or 3D screening for an upcoming film and only myself and one other person requested the 2D screening. So guess what, we’ll be resigned to seeing it in converted 3D on Monday night. It doesn’t really bother me all that much, to tell you the truth, I just like to complain, but what bothers me more is that even press has bought into this 3D craze. Although, I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of the Seattle press didn’t know Clash of the Titans was a 2D-to-3D conversion, but that’s a completely different story.

Today’s news comes via The Wall Street Journal and it’s keeping it slightly Seattle related as well with the following news for you 3D enthusiasts:

At an AMC theater in Danvers, Mass., a Boston suburb, 3-D ticket prices are jumping more than 20% to $17.50 from $14.50, while the adult admission price for a conventional film will remain at $10.50. At one Seattle multiplex, adult admission is rising to $11 from $10 for a conventional film, to $15 from $13.50 for a regular 3-D showing and to $17 from $15 for Imax 3-D.

A 3-D Imax movie at New York City’s AMC Loews Kips Bay will cost $19.50, up from $16.50.

Can you imagine how much Avatar and Alice in Wonderland would have made with these prices? Avatar is already the #1 all-time film with over $737 million dollars — $137 million more than Titanic at #2 — and this new fad appears to be ready to bleed audiences dry.

The WSJ article says “[movie] theaters typically had charged $2 to $3 extra for 3-D tickets. But the brisk demand for those premium-priced tickets led many exhibitors to believe that they were underpriced.” If you ask me, it’s price gouging to the fullest extent and it should be viewed by the public as such.

As a movie reviewer and film critic, there is one thing Kevin Smith got right in his recent rant, as a critic I am privileged to see movies for free and it is one of the things I take very seriously when writing my reviews. I consider the fact people are going to have to spend their money to see these films and whether or not the films are actually worth your hard earned dollar.

I will now have to begin considering the fact it may cost people upwards of $19.50 to see a movie in IMAX 3D, something that’s damn near impossible to comprehend. So often I get criticized by some of my peers here in Seattle and sometimes some of the publicists, saying I judge movies too harshly — one even says frequently, “You don’t like anything.” But when I look at the price people have to pay to see movies now and consider the current state of the economy I find it insulting studios would first of all try to pass off a 2D-to-3D conversion as bona fide 3D, but then when I learn they are charging people up to $7 more to watch it in that format it just makes me sad.

I love movies, and I know there is a passionate group of readers here at that are right there with me, but I can’t help but wonder if the studios and theater owners are soon going to price themselves into irrelevance making bootleg movies an option more and more turn to as they just wait for movies to hit DVD and Blu-ray. Alice in Wonderland is leading the charge to shrink theatrical-to-DVD windows even further, turning the theater experience into a novelty act and creating a world where the going to the movies will soon be something we tell stories about rather than enjoying first hand.

Do you have a price ceiling that you refuse to go above? Do you avoid 3D movies because of the price difference? Is there a scenario where you can see yourself abandoning the theatrical experience once and for all?


Marvel and DC