The other day I was having a look online at film times for my local cinema and nearly had a seizure when I saw how much it had gone up to; the VUE is now charging £9.00 for a 2D film in standard seating! I quickly picked my jaw up off the floor and headed to the Odeon website instead, they’re usually cheaper.
I can remember a time when you could get in to the cinema for as little as £3 or £4, and for £10 you could get your cinema ticket and a box of popcorn. Not any more! In the grand scheme of things I’ve not been on this Earth for a particularly long time…so the prices have shot up pretty quickly!
While I’ve been at university the cinema is luxury that I tend to avoid, and have only been three times in the past several months. So I wasn’t particularly aware of the price of the cinema these days. The Odeon up in Coventry has a £5 Tuesdays deal where all tickets cost just a fiver, so the three times I’ve been have been on a Tuesday.
Now that I’m home for Easter my boyfriend and me felt like going to the cinema, we didn’t really care what we went to see, just wanted ‘the cinema experience’ and that was when I nearly passed out with shock.
There is no way in hell I’m paying £9 to see Identity Thief, since that’s the only film on at the moment that either of us care to see.
And that is what got me thinking about the future of the cinema, and also of DVD’s.
If I’m being honest I stream the majority of films that I watch online. I don’t very often buy DVDs and I can’t afford the cinema too often either. If I’m not streaming a film I rent from either iTunes or my local DVD rental.
Streaming has become the norm for a lot of people because the cinema and brand new DVDs are just way too much money. Even renting has got pretty pricey, with iTunes charging an average of £3.30 for a standard definition film, and about £4.30 if you want to watch it in HD.
Don’t even get me started on the price of brand new DVDs! I almost had to carry my jaw home in a wheel barrow when I was looking at the DVDs in Tesco just a couple of weeks ago…one of the new releases was £15! And it was offering nothing more than the DVD itself…no fancy box, not even a stuffed toy of one of the characters. I forget which film it was, but it was nothing particularly outstanding.
So is it really any wonder that people choose not to go to the cinema and instead would rather sit at home and watch a dodgy pirated version of the film online? The cinema experience is great and all, and don’t get me wrong it would be a shame if cinema’s started shutting down…but I’m not paying nine pounds to watch a film with a bunch of strangers in an uncomfortable chair with just about enough leg room for a toddler. Perhaps it’s one of the curses of having long legs, but halfway through the film I get the urge to stand up and walk around because it’s just so uncomfortable!
I may just be speaking for myself here but I get the feeling it’s not just me. I only buy cheap DVDs from Amazon or the CEX (Exchange) store, rarely will I spend over £5 on a DVD unless I desperately want it (the last time that happened was when I spotted a lone copy of Tyrannosaur in CEX for £9 and thought I’d better buy it while I had the chance).
So many people choose to stream pirated copies of films online instead of part with money, this is ultimately damaging to the film industry and is just asking for trouble…so why not bring the damn prices down?! I’m pretty sure they’d make more money on their DVDs if they were, say, £10 upon release instead of £15 because more people would be willing to buy them! I know I certainly would.
There will never be a shortage of customers for the film industry, never will people’s interest in cinema die out. Film is one of the few means of escapism that includes everyone…you don’t need to be able to read, or own a fancy computer or the latest game console in order to enjoy them…and there’s a genre out there to suit everyone no matter what their age, class or gender. It appears that the industry is slowly eating itself, and something needs to be sorted out! People will always find a way to watch things for free if the cinema is too expensive, or if new DVDs cost way too much. There needs to be some kind of happy mid-ground that’s not damaging to
the film industry…like, say, go back to when cinema tickets didn’t cost an arm and a leg!
Despite this rant I’m off to the cinema tonight to finally watch Identity Thief. Scott Cinemas are still reasonably cheap, and although you have to sacrifice some luxury, you’re still watching the same film on a big screen! Fortunately there’s two Scott Cinemas nearby, and by the looks of it, we need only part with just over £4.