[caption id="attachment_138527" align="alignleft" width="300"] Getty Images[/caption]
The National Association of Theater Owners has announced that the average cost of going to the movies in North America has reach an astronomical, all-time high of $8.38 in the second quarter of this year. This is a 5.5 percent increase over the first quarter ($7.94).
The reason? An uptick in 3D movies and IMAX and other large format screens, thanks largely to the bombastic, summertime movie fare. It wasn't enough that there were giant robots and monsters in "Pacific Rim," they also needed to be a hundred stories tall and in 3D.
When people say that they only go to the movies a few times a year, this is probably why: it's too damn expensive. Especially when you factor in extra costs, like parking and what the babysitter charges, it can be a very expensive night out. Do you really want to waste all that money on something like "The Heat," which will play just as well in your living room a year later when you accidentally catch it on HBO?
What's even more baffling about the added prices of movie theater tickets is how much better most things are on television these days. When you go to the movies, you see giant movies, two dimensional characters, and tons of explosions. On television, you get fully nuanced characters, who are able to grow and evolve over a period of episodes, top notch acting, and, you know, dragons.
It'll be interesting to see if the trend continues or, with the onslaught of Oscar movies and other pedigreed fare that usually seeps into the theaters in the fall and winter, the price will drop again. Either way, it's easy to see moviegoers skipping the concession stand on the way to their auditorium, they've spent quite enough already.