Sunday, March 29, 2009

Holy Hot Buttered Popcorn!

Holy hot buttered popcorn, Batman! Did you catch those prices? Ten four, Robin. That’s why I smuggle Orville’s into the theater, if I can get it past the concession police. Holy half hour of previews before the main attraction, Batman, I’m not talking about the popcorn but the ticket prices! Especially for the 3-D movies. That’s certainly the way I felt this past weekend while dolling out $19-bucks for two tickets--for a registered AARP member and a ten-year-old! They up the ante, as you probably know, to cover the cost of the 3-D glasses. Now I know that in this time of severe economic crisis, more people are going to the movies, just to get away from it all. And it seems the theater owners and movie makers are putting a premium on escape, rather than cutting you a break. By the way, these were matinee prices! $9.50 a piece, instead of the usual $6.50 a head. Six dollars more, the result of the $3.00 “surcharge” per ticket, to cover the cost of the 3-D equipment that theater operators lease. Never suspected I’d be stiffed like that but not wanting to disappoint my 10-year-old grandson who had been successfully reeled in by the barrage of tv promotions in advance of the film’s release, I took the plunge. However, I struck popcorn and a drink from the menu to avoid adding another eleven-bucks to the bill. . .

This being the third 3-D movie we’ve seen in the past couple of months, I wondered if we could save 6-bucks on a pair of tickets by holding on to our 3-Day glasses from the earlier films. “ No way,” says a teenager at the ticket counter with the tone of a teacher, chastising you for being late with your homework assignment. After some prodding, you’re told you can use the glasses from a previous 3-D like the “Jonas Brothers Concert”, “Coraline”, and “Journey to the Center of the Earth”. However, you still have to pay the 3-dollar “surcharge”. Covers the cost of the 3-D equipment theater managers lease to be a part of the latest movie craze. But it seems the movie managers are making more than enough to cover the cost of the 3-D technology. What’s next, will we have to pay extra for the “Birthday Crowns” at Burger King? You wonder about the wiggle room the movie chains have to work with and why, in this time when we all need a break from reality, that they seem bent on cashing in on it. The weekend gross for the debut of “Monsters Versus Aliens” was projected to be well over $58 Million in ticket sales. That’s well ahead of “Race to Witch Mountain” following its debut three weeks ago. Seems it’s time for a price break at the concession stand. Like maybe a buck or two off that bag of hot buttered popcorn that costs no more than a few cents to make and doesn’t really contain butter. Where’s Batman when you need him?