As any regular cinema-goer will be able to tell you, the price of cinema tickets seems to be constantly rising. From 2006 to 2015, the average price of a UK cinema ticket rose from £4.87 to £7.17 (with that average including children’s tickets and special offers which results in a lowered price).
Clearly in the last decade there has been significant development in the technology used in the film industry and films like Avengers: Age of Ultron would not have been possible without huge budgets. The more expensive it is to make films, the more expensive it is going to be to watch them but when is enough, enough?
The cinema was once considered to be the cheapest form of entertainment but we now live in age where invites to watch a movie are rejected because it simply is not affordable. People keep saying that we are now living in the golden age of television but maybe it just feels that way because nobody can afford to go to the cinema.
Studios, and indeed films, have always competed against each other for views and to make more money at the box office but the situation has never been as acute as it is now. Sure, the studios aren’t launching hate campaigns against each other (yet) but should they dare schedule movie releases for the same week, magazines begin betting on which will come out on top and which will flop.
The sad thing is, that’s exactly what happens. I remember when I was younger I could go to the cinema with my mum and we’d see two films in a row but now I have to gripe about whether I can afford to watch just one. With a student discount.
As somebody who reviews films just because they love it, doing that is becoming a lot harder. Summer is blockbuster season and in July alone there are nearly ten separate films that I am incredibly excited about but I’ll be lucky if I get to see three.
Out of respect for all of the people that spend months at a time working on a film I refuse to pirate them when they’re in the cinema, but I can understand why other people would want to. The largest reason that people I know stream new films online is that they can’t afford to go to the cinema. Of course it’s sometimes laziness or plain old cheapness but largely, it’s the price.
So, is the price of cinema tickets fair? If we take an adult ticket at £10 and assume a 2 hour film, you’re paying £5 for every hour of entertainment. That’s definitely more expensive than a lot of other forms of entertainment – it’s the combined monthly price of my Netflix and Amazon Prime Video subscriptions but I still go.
When you go to the cinema, you’re not just paying for the film: you pay for the experience. The trailers, the calm dark room, the air-conditioning, the atmosphere.
I don’t think that the prices are fair but I’m not going to stop paying them. Let’s just hope that they stop rising.
What do you think of cinema prices? Do you prefer to watch films at home or do you like the cinema experience? Let me know in the comments.