According to a story in the Wall Street Journal, movie theater owners in New York are going to test the public's ability to absorb ever-higher ticket prices as, for the first time, a major Hollywood film will hit the $20 threshold at the box office.
Several theaters will charge $20 per adult ticket to IMAX showings of the animated 3-D film "Shrek Forever After." This price hike comes less than eight weeks after theater operators instituted some of the steepest hikes in a decade. Those increases in late March were, in some cases, as high as 26%.
I think the theaters are taking a huge risk with this move. A family of four - let's say two adults and two children and assuming children's tickets are in the $10 to $12 range - would end up spending more than $60 just to walk in the theater. Add popcorn and sodas to the total (which is also far from cheap in a movie theater) and you're talking at least $80 to go see a movie. I think there will be more and more families willing to forego the big screen experience and simply wait for the DVD.
Now I wouldn't expect these prices to come to our area anytime soon, but I'd say theater owners around the country will certainly be keeping an eye on the New York theaters to see how willing people are to pay these prices.
So, how much are YOU willing to pay?