Movie theater tickets have become expensive. In Central Illinois, adult tickets are now $9, with children’s tickets at seven dollars. For a family of four, it’s $32–just to get in the door! And, you know the kids are going to be asking for popcorn, candy and sodas. Add $15 and almost $50 has been spent on a family night at the movies. It didn’t always used to be this way. In recent years, the movie theaters have been required to drive up their prices to keep their doors open. Move rentals and online streaming services threaten their existence. There are several ways to drive down the movie budget, however, and still enjoy the film.
First, check the Redbox. These seem to be appearing everywhere lately. T hey’re in front of grocery stories, pharmacies and inside department stores. They may not have the most recent movies, but the movies get changed every week. Millions of movies and video games are available for rental. On Redbox.com, renters are able to place a hold on a rental, then go to a location to pick it up. One of the best things about Redbox is that renters are able to look up movies online. Redbox tells the renter whether the rental unit is located indoors or outdoors, and if the movie is available at that location. The movie may be placed on hold for pickup, which is very convenient.
Next, check out Amazon’s Instant Videos. They have thousands of movies for $3.99 that are HD or viewable in on regular screen. These are also viewable on an iPad or a phone, which is really nice. Similar to Redbox, most movies the renter may have to wait for to see. There are plenty of older films, all of which may be considered favorites among fans. New releases will be available weeks later, but renters may add them to a ‘watch list’ so they’re not forgotten. The best part is that it saves the family nearly $50 unless, of course, you have spent that on dinner to accompany the movie. Then it’s worth it to watch a great movie with the family over pizza and breadsticks.
Similarly, families should give Hulu.com or Netflix a try. At $7.99/month, both services offer a vast variety of movies and television shows that are available at their fingertips. Viewers may watch their shows or movies virtually anywhere–PS3, Wii, their television, phone or computer. The shows and movies are limitless and offer more than any other service. There are endless shows for children, such as Barney and Spongebob. For adults, there is a vast collection of daytime and nighttime shows including All of My Children, Revenge and Nashville. The movie collection is impressive, and viewers may watch trailers to preview the films.
Finally, renters should give vudu.com a worthy look. This is a movie service dedicated only to high-definition movies. Once a viewer signs up, they will receive 10 movies free. From then on, each consecutive movie is $2 for two nights. It advertises having more movies than its competitors. This may be good for those who take their movie watching seriously. With the exception of Redbox, late fees are eliminated from all of these services. This is an additional money saver to the family’s movie budget. There are other services out there, but these are the most reliable ones.