Is the Price of a Night at the Movies Really Skyrocketing?

By Jeff


When the first-ever “summer blockbuster”, Jaws, was released in 1975, it started a trend of summer movie releases that previously did not exist. Now, movies with a summer release are part of culture, with big production companies like Marvel and Disney releasing new flicks every June and July. Going to the movies is a great way to cool off from the blistering heat, spend time with friends, distract rowdy kids home from school, or have a date night.

However, movie ticket costs seem to be skyrocketing. While going to see Jaws in 1975 would have cost around $2.05, a night out at the movies in 2017 would set film buffs in the United States back an average of $10.61. Many have claimed that these prices are too high, but is that really the case?

A quick peruse of the United States Depart of Labor’s website suggests that while the high costs of movies may seem alarming, the double-digits between the dollar sign and decimal point may be misleading. When $10.61 is adjusted for inflation, it has about the same amount of spending power as $2.32 in 1975.

price of movie tickets

This does not mean, however, that consumers aren’t right to be concerned about excessive prices at the box offices. In some cities around the United States, a night at the movies can cost as much as $16.30. When one considers the vast improvements that many cineplexes around the nation need to make in order to be considered “worth it” by consumers, these prices keep many out of movie theater.

As summer blockbuster season approaches, more and more consumers may be opting out of going to catch the latest superhero movie on the big screen. The recent uptick in luxury theater chains, which offer gourmet food, leather chairs, and other posh accommodations, has helped draw people into theaters, but it may not be enough to draw in families. It’s clear that, to consumers at least, $10.61 doesn’t buy an “awful lot of roast” at the movie theater, meaning that many families may opt for a beach outing rather than watching a mechanical shark terrorize swimmers on the big screen.


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