Bad economy, good movies

Reel Blog   

Nobody wants an economic downturn, but since it seems we’re in one, everybody seems to be wondering how the movies will do.

It comes as no surprise to theater owners that hard times send people to movie theaters. Movie-going remains the least expensive form of out-of-home entertainment, as these charts show:


Ticket Price

% Change

Average Premium Ticket

NFL  (07) 1




Concerts (07) 2



NBA  (07) 1



NHL  (07) 1





Live  (06) 3



MLB  (07) 1



Movies (07)  4



 Source: 1Team Marketing Report      Source: 3Theatre Communications Group

Source: 4NATO                               Source: 2Pollstar


But wait, there’s more, considering your ticket dollar in terms of time spent:


Price Per Game

Length of

Ave. Game

Price Per

103.4 Minutes

Per Person


Laser Tag (07)1


12 – 15 min


Bowling (06)2

Weekday:  $2.83

Weekend:  $3.53 Average: $3.18

45 min.

(3 players,

1 game)




103.4 minutes


Source: 1Intl’ Laser Tag Assn.    

Source: 2United States Bowling Congress / Mischel & Co. (ave. price/open game)

Source: 3NATO

The L.A. Times weighs in with the tantalizing suggestion, ” If you’re struggling to pay the bills, why not let Angelina Jolie take your worries away?”

Marketplace follows with an on-air interview on the subject with yours truly.

 And the Times of London speculates on the forthcoming summer season with an economy in the doldrums:

“In the past four decades there have been seven recession years in this country, and box office climbed strongly in five of those years,” said John Fithian, the president of the National Association of Theatre Owners.

“Consumers cut back on expensive purchases during recessions but also typically shift what discretionary spending money they have left to affordable activities, such as going to the movies.” This economic anomaly was first observed during the Great Depression, when even the Dust Bowl refugees used what little money they had to pay for admissions to monster movies and Marx Brothers comedies.

 Let us know: where will you be spending your money this summer?