Why are movies so expensive?

Graphic by Dorothy Gachioch | The Washtenaw Voice

Graphic by Dorothy Gachioch | The Washtenaw Voice

By Olivia Johnson

The first complaint that comes to my mind is the economics of the movie theater. Where is our money going? There’s no way the tickets and concessions need to cost that much, right?

Actually, wrong.

The theater does not keep even close to half of the profits from the box office sales; most of the money goes back to the studio. In some cases, theaters don’t get to keep any of the profits from ticket sales. We can thank the cost of making the films for that.

On average, the theater itself keeps approximately 25 percent of the money from ticket sales. That means that the theater makes $2–$3 off of your $12 ticket. However, the longer the movie stays in theaters, the percentage that the theater gets to keep increases over that time.

Cinemas are then forced to make their profits off of the concession stands. That’s why the popcorn, drinks and candy cost a fortune! So, you could say that the theaters are in the candy business rather than show business.

The next time you go to the movies and think that they are criminals for costing you an arm and a leg for tickets and snacks, it’s not entirely their fault. It’s all about the experience of escaping into a movie – losing yourself in the action, adventure, emotion and thrill of a motion picture.



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