Would You Pay 30 Dollars to See 300 Million Dollars?

Today’s Lesson: Movie theaters are still worth going to.


Perhaps sadly, I remember when movie tickets jumped from $3.00 to $4.25 in my neighborhood. I could not believe how expensive going to the movies was getting and I have complained about the prices ever since (and still do).

Dropping $30 for 2 Imax tickets to see a mediocre movie (plus another $20 in outrageously over-priced concession items) makes a night at the show something to think twice about.

Comedian Louis C.K. thought twice about it. He has a funny bit where he talks about the production costs of movies. I am paraphrasing but he basically says, “Movies cost as much as 300 million dollars to produce. If you have 300 million dollars, why produce a movie? I would pay you 30 dollars just to see a room filled with 300 million dollars!”

He is right. If that was a museum exhibit, I would happily plunk down the price of a movie to see it! His quirky observation gave me a new perspective on going to the show. It made me realize I am not just going to look at the art or experience a thrill ride of emotions. I am also going to see what a group of people thought was a good use of 30 thousand, 300 thousand, or even 300 million dollars. Movies have become rather fascinating in that light.

If you think about it, going to the movies might even still be a good value for your investment. How much would you pay to watch someone burn 300 million dollars or turn it into 3 billion dollars by seeing how many seats they can fill and how many other people can be enticed to watch it and talk about it?