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Theatrical Sticker Shock

23 Feb, 2004 By: Stephanie Prange

I took my daughter to see a matinee of Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen last weekend, and I have a confession of my own. It was an enjoyable flick, but the sticker shock of paying for a matinee what I used to pay for a prime-time viewing provided some additional drama. Add to that the cost of a drink (about $4) and candy (another $4) and I easily spent $20 — for a matinee!

At the risk of sounding like the old geezer talking about shelling out a nickel for the movies, I can't believe going to the movies costs that much! I can't imagine how I would feel if the movie had been really horrendous — one of those flicks that's not worth the two hours of my time. BR>
No wonder DVDs are doing so well. Heck, going to the movies costs a fortune. For $20, I could buy a DVD, get some really good snacks and have something to trade-in or keep for my library afterward. Entertainment is even more economical if you rent a DVD.<

Theater attendance is flat, and I can see why. It's not a very good value anymore. In the past few years, I've only attended matinees, for the most part, because I considered seeing a movie at night too expensive — not worth the money. Now the matinees seem out of reach.

Last year was the first since 1991 that studios saw box office revenue slip — and that's with the higher ticket prices. I'm betting some of that missing revenue went to DVD.

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