Like many others, I went to the movies today to see Gone Girl. It’s a great film and a brilliant adaptation of the book. Apart from the lack of prolonged Ben Affleck nudity, I really enjoyed all aspects of the film. But you know what I didn’t enjoy?
The price of the ticket.
Now, I’m not a big movie fan. I’m likely to go to the cinema to twice a year on average. It’s not because I live far away, it’s just that I’d usually rather read or be more active than sitting captive to film previews before the event. But at $23 AUD for an adult ticket, it made me question – what price is good value for entertainment?
Obviously, this is going to be an individual decision. As far as I know, there’s no formula devised that guarantees a good time for very little money. Most of my hobbies – reading, travel, baking and blogging involve an outlay of cash. While I am accepting of paying $35 AUD for the new Murakami in hardcover in order to have it on the day of release, I’m sure many of you would think that’s a waste of money. But what’s your breakpoint?
My breakpoint for a movie ticket is somewhere around the $20 AUD mark I discovered today. It cost me more to see the Gone Girl film than it did for the book (I bought it some time ago as a large format paperback, which cost $19 AUD). I saw the movie in less than three hours (including the never ending previews for upcoming films – ‘based on a true story’ is the next thing, people) but I took several days to read the book. My total reading time would have been about four and a half hours. To me, the book is a better value. (I’m not dissing Gone Girl here; it’s just easy to compare the same subject matter over several formats).
So, let’s compare the price of new release forms of entertainment (based on Aussie dollars):
A new release book (example: The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion):
Price at Dymocks bookstore $22.99 AUD (at a discount department store, you would pay about $16-19 AUD).
The same book in ebook format:
Somewhat cheaper at $11.05 at Amazon AU, but there’s the whole paper book vs eBooks debate (which is another story for a different day).
A new release DVD (as I’ve mentioned, I’m not much of a film fan, so let’s take Big W’s word that these are new releases):
They’re between $16 – $24 AUD on sale, $28 AUD post-sale.
I’m happy to consider $23 AUD for a book that I can have, hold, read and lend before keeping in my library – but a film? Not for me. I’d rather watch DVD sale prices/rent online or borrow from the library and sink money saved into a cracker holiday.
How about you? Do you choose entertainment based on its value to you? What things would you be happy to splurge on and what things would you scrimp on?