Apparently, the United States spent a record $10.8 billion at movie theaters in 2012. The number of tickets sold did not match the record year of 2002, but the money is certainly being spent by the American people. While I saw a few pictures in theater during 2012, I was not a major contributor to that dollar amount. I am not opposed to spending my hard-earned disposable income at a movie theater, but I just do not get there very often. It will be interesting to see if I attend more movies as life progresses.
A tough economy?
It is always interesting to me that in the midst of an economy that is supposedly struggling, people are still spending billions of dollars on movie tickets, smart phones, eating out, pets and other expenses that are supposedly disposable. Either the employed people without any debt are the only ones heading to the movie theater, or citizens are loading up their credit cards in order to see the latest blockbuster. I suspect it is the latter.
Phase of life
For me, not attending movies is partially about my phase of life. I have a job, family and responsibilities. In some ways, it seems like attending the theater is more geared towards younger people, or those that do not have nightly obligations. Plus, the home and online options are just too convenient. Life is about looking for conveniences, and traveling to the theater is not easy compared to the limitless movie options I can access at home. If I am going to spend money on entertainment, it is going to include a certain amount of convenience. This is an aspect of home finance that is always interesting. Some expenses change over time, seemingly without intention.
Patience is a virtue
On some level, I understand why people go out to the movies. Humans are social creatures, and they like to leave the house and interact with others. As you get older, you also get a little more patient with certain aspects of life. Therefore, it is not necessarily for me to spend my money on instant gratification items such as theater-based movies. Sometimes, I will (gasp) wait for a popular movie to come out on DVD, even though "everyone" saw it in the theater. In many cases, I find that saving money is about patience. The other benefit of patience is that it allows me to not buy a ticket for movies that are definitely not worth the investment.
Don't even get me started on the cost of popcorn.
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