Get ready to pay more at the movies

Alice is still ruling the movie palace

March 26, 2010 2:59:14 PM PDT
Ticket sales are up thanks to the 3-D movies -- and now prices are going up, too.

The new generation of films has drawn crowds to theaters, so Hollywood is taking advantage and raising its ticket prices. Theaters owned by big chains like Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment and Cinemark Holdings are expected to participate. While the increase varies from chain to chain, the average will be $1.50 more a ticket.

"It's worth the payment. It's worth the extra money for me," said Russell Engle, theater goer.

"We'll probably see a few less movies," said Tom Giardino, theater goer.

"I think they're too expensive now," said Devin Cramer, theater goer.

Even in the weak economy, record sales in the U.S. led the industry to surpass a $10 billion revenue in 2009. Three-D movies are responsible for 11-percent of that increase.

"The technology, production, and associated costs behind films presented in the new and emerging formats do indeed cost more and it is inevitable some of the costs will eventually appear at the box office," said Andy Diorio, AMC.

Therefore, most of the theaters are raising the prices for 3-D movies.

"Look at Avatar and Alice coming into the market place and generating the kind box office results that they are, there is an opportunity to gain more of it by increases the prices," said Peter Guber, Mandalay Entertainment.

"Then you have popcorn and your cokes and your stuff like that and then on top of the price of the movie, you have to pay for concession stuff, too, and it's $100 just to go to a movie," said Vicky Cramer, theater goer. A film called "How to Train Your Dragon 3-D" opened at Imax Theater Navy Pier. Tickets are $15-17 for adults and $13 for children. They do not plan to raise those rates.

"We feel that our pricing is a premium price already. It's a premium experience. We like where we're at. We find it works for our customers. We don't find it's costing anything in attendance and the experience itself is well worth that price.

Seeing Alice in Wonderland in Disney Digital 3D tonight is going to cost:

  • $14 at AMC Loews 600 North Michigan 9
  • $15 at ShowPlace ICON at Roosevelt Collection ? Reserve
  • $14 at Kerasotes Chicago Webster Place 11
  • $13 at Century 12 Evanston
  • To see Alice in Wonderland in traditional format:

  • $11 at AMC Loews 600 North Michigan 9
  • $11 at Kerasotes Chicago Webster Place 11
  • $10 at Century 12 Evanston
  • And that's without the popcorn and fountain drinks.