I don't go to movie theaters much anymore. Can you blame me?
- Ten bucks for a single viewing, more if you purchase in advance via the web to skip the lines
- 400% mark up on all food and drink
- Commercials before the trailers
- Not guaranteed an optimal seat
- Put up with noise from other movie-goers
- No control over movie settings (volume, language track, pausing, etc)
- No control over room atmosphere
With the prices of home theater technology these days, you can easily have a 40" LCD @ 720p with 5.1 surround for $1000. For that price you get to watch movies your way and in the comfort of your own home.
Let's do some math!
That $1000 setup is multi-purpose. It serves as your setup for movies, TV, and gaming. That's three different functions, so let's assign a value of $333 to the cost of your movie watching. We need some movies to watch, too, so let's tack on $15 a month for Netflix's Two-At-A-Time plan. You can easily see 8 movies a month on this plan. Food and drink? Let's assume bag of popcorn, candy snack, and soda per movie. Getting this at the store runs you $2 at most per movie.
Alright, let's calculate our movie watching costs for a year.
$333 + 12 x $15 + 12 x 8 x $2 = $705
How does this compare to theater costs?
Let's assume the same eight movies per month, popcorn and soda per movie for $3.50 + $2.50, and one gallon of gas for travel @ $3.00. Total?
8 x 12 x ( $10 + $3.50 + $2.50 + $3 ) = $1824
Wow. That's a lot of cash going to the theaters. You can spend less on a home theater AND have the better experience. How about a few more comparisons to make you feel worse about your spending habits? Coming right up!
Add in the full cost of your home theater setup = $1372, still less than $1824 in the theaters
Half as many trips to the theater = $912, still more than your home theater
Two years of home theater use (@ full setup cost) = $1744
Two years of theater trips = $3648
Basically, you could spend $1000 on new home theater equipment every other year and STILL save money compared to going to the theater. And believe me, I plan on it.