The movie going experience is a problem in the United States in terms of ticket prices. Throughout the years, there have been record-breaking films that have shattered the box office but that does not mean there is also record-breaking numbers in terms of people going to the movies more. Many argue that it is very expensive to go to the theaters in terms of how much one pays per ticket or in concessions. Although there are many reasons to attribute this problem such as the latter, one way this would vastly improve is lowering the amount one pays for a ticket. The lower the price one has to pay, the more people will go to the theater and truly enjoy the experience.
The average ticket in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2019 according to boxofficemojo.com was $9.01. According to the hollywoodreporter.com, the number rose to $9.26 in the second quarter of 2019. Although it seems like a low amount, the number has increased every year. In 2018 the average price was $9.11; in 2017 it was $8.97; and in 2016 it was $8.97. The more one has to pay, the more they’d rather stay at home. Some could argue that lowering the amount won’t change people’s minds as studies show that box office numbers are down 28 percent compared to last year, according to CBSnews.com. However, one could attribute that to there not being many movies as huge as last year’s selections in terms of schedule. Put simply, one would be more inclined to pay to see a movie if tickets did not rise every year.
Another reason that lowering the price of tickets could improve has to do with the age demographic that goes to the movie theaters. More than likely once one goes to the theater, one will notice the big difference between younger people and older people attending. Movies are not made for just a specific group — they are made for everyone to see and to be viewed by everybody, regardless of race or age. According to statista.com, 20 percent of adults aged 18 to 29 watched a movie once a month compared to 9 percent of aged 55 to 64. There is a big gap in between that shows mostly younger audiences goes to the movie theaters. Despite that issue, 6.6 million moviegoers aged 60 or above have gone to the theaters in 2018, up from 6.2 in 2017 showing signs of improvement. In an era where the young people own the box office, it is still important for older people to go as well and lowering the cost would vastly improve that.
Finally, one thing that could benefit from lowering the ticket cost would be in concession stands. After buying a ticket, or however many one buys, people will hesitate to spend more money buying food or drinks. After all, the prices are not cheap either. At AMC, the small popcorn sells up to $7 and the largest goes up to $9 a bucket. 85 percent of the money movie theaters make is out of concession stands which helps cover the cost as studios take up 60 percent of all box office money according to theweek.com. No matter what the cost is, people always want to pay less. Concession stands numbers will go up as the result of people saving more money and could have money they probably would not have had if it was not for an expensive ticket.
Money will always be the factor to everything. There is no feeling like watching a movie in a movie theater and the huge sound and picture one would enjoy. For that to be taken away because of the admission price being high needs to change. There are way too many movies that deserve to be seen on the big screen and celebrated. We go to the movies to have fun and to escape from everyday issues. If prices were to go down, it could certainly produce a shift in the number of people who will be open to exploring movie theaters and falling in love with movies again.
By Chris Peña, Flare Section Editor