Stockpiling Movie Tickets for Profit

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I wondered what people thought of this idea. There has been talk about a major change in the business model of how theaters operate. Steven Spielberg recently said in the future, “You’re gonna have to pay $25 for the next Iron Man, [but] you’re probably only going to have to pay $7 to see Lincoln.” A movie ticket in 2000 was $5.39 vs. $8.00 now, easily outpacing inflation. It seems to me that you can profit from movie ticket prices rising in the future or a pricing model that charges much more for a certain movie genre by stockpiling "forever" movie tickets. Regal and others lets you buy unrestricted movie vouchers in bulk for $8 each (see Regal) I predict the price of a movie ticket will easily exceed $20 in a decade. If you buy now and resell (or use them) later, it seems you would have doubled your investment in a short time span. Only risk I see is if Regal goes bankrupt in the near future.

http://insidemovies.ew.com/2013/06/21/50-dollar-movie-tickets/

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In High School, I had a free period after lunch. The Little Ceasers a block away would give me the left over slices the... (more)

mattun (Jul. 15, 2013 @ 2:40p) |

gotta admit its funny. I personally don't care what you do. I prefer not to justify minor indiscretions. That may be no... (more)

JaxFL (Jul. 15, 2013 @ 5:58p) |

I'm not trying to justify it in the sense that I am trying to prove what I am doing is not wrong. I also am not really ... (more)

BenH (Jul. 15, 2013 @ 6:29p) |

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At first glance interesting. I'll have to do more thought on that one.

Plus terms and conditions are Crucial to something like this.

I can't imagine paying $8 for only one movie, I wait until the drive in has it and I can see 3 films for $8.50 or better yet,
wait a year or even 2 for it to get to rebbox for a $1

The primary risk here isn't default.

The primary risk here is a disruptive technology that no one here would think of that would fundamentally alter the business model of watching movies in a way that caused losses to the holders of massive amounts of these tickets.

And the more I think about the low price attached to them unlike something like a concert ticket tells me that you might have a hard time offloading them since it would require interjecting yourself somewhere into a persons otherwise automated thought process of buying directly from the selling theater.

You may have missed the news article a few weeks ago where AMC decided to add a surcharge to people who use those pre-paid movie vouchers at a handful of theatres. Who's to say this won't become a norm among metropolitan areas, killing the resell or future value.

Or they could just discontinue selling whichever movie voucher you bought a ton of, increase/add a surcharge the older vouchers, and release a new type of pre-sale voucher at a higher discounted movie ticket price (relative to whatever inflation adjusted ticket price is in the future) without the surcharge.


http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jun/04/business/la-fi-lazarus-2...

http://consumerist.com/2013/06/04/amcs-location-surcharges-take-...

http://www.amctheatres.com/gold-silver-tickets-terms

Another risk would be, they upgraded all their theaters with 3D/IMAX or a future technology and say you'd have to pay the premium for it

I dunno where you see movies for $8'now its $11 in most major metro areas

dshibb said:   
The primary risk here is a disruptive technology that no one here would think of that would fundamentally alter the business model of watching movies in a way that caused losses to the holders of massive amounts of these tickets.


What like VHS/DVD/Internet?

I think the laws of physics are pretty clear that it will be hard to watch a movie on a 50 foot screen outside of a theater.

The bigger risks are that the tickets wouldn't be valid for "hot" or "new" movies, or they would require two tickets or a surcharge.

And even if tickets for hot movies went to 20$ and they accepted the vouchers, how would you sell them? eBay? Maybe you'd get 12-15 and have to pay a couple bucks in fees. Not worth it.

And the biggest risk is that prices don't go up meaningfully and you would have done better investing in something else.

Probably a better idea to buy forever stamps

JonnyRock said:   I can't imagine paying $8 for only one movie, I wait until the drive in has it and I can see 3 films for $8.50 or better yet,
wait a year or even 2 for it to get to rebbox for a $1
$1!?
FWF endorses libraries...not free really since taxes pay, but it *feels* free.


SUCKISSTAPLES said:   I dunno where you see movies for $8'now its $11 in most major metro areasSome lucky folks still have new release matinees in upscale theaters for $4...such as here, a suburb of Saint Louis.

7€ with Groupon here..plus you get popcorn!

itsausername said:   JonnyRock said:   I can't imagine paying $8 for only one movie, I wait until the drive in has it and I can see 3 films for $8.50 or better yet,
wait a year or even 2 for it to get to rebbox for a $1
$1!?
FWF endorses libraries...not free really since taxes pay, but it *feels* free.


SUCKISSTAPLES said:   I dunno where you see movies for $8'now its $11 in most major metro areasSome lucky folks still have new release matinees in upscale theaters for $4...such as here, a suburb of Saint Louis.


When I was in Yangon, they were showing Iron Man 3 for about $1.70....it's all about location, location, location.

avalon6 said:   I wondered what people thought of this idea. There has been talk about a major change in the business model of how theaters operate. Steven Spielberg recently said in the future, “You’re gonna have to pay $25 for the next Iron Man, [but] you’re probably only going to have to pay $7 to see Lincoln.” A movie ticket in 2000 was $5.39 vs. $8.00 now, easily outpacing inflation. It seems to me that you can profit from movie ticket prices rising in the future or a pricing model that charges much more for a certain movie genre by stockpiling "forever" movie tickets. Regal and others lets you buy unrestricted movie vouchers in bulk for $8 each (see Regal) I predict the price of a movie ticket will easily exceed $20 in a decade. If you buy now and resell (or use them) later, it seems you would have doubled your investment in a short time span. Only risk I see is if Regal goes bankrupt in the near future.

http://insidemovies.ew.com/2013/06/21/50-dollar-movie-tickets/


Given the track records of the show houses, not exactly a small risk you would be taking for all of the major chains, IMO.


I don't go to the movies very often, but when I do, I make sure there is at least more than 1 movie I want to watch. I pay for my ticket to go to matinee, bring my own treats, hang around after it is over and watch 2 more movies ($19 savings right there).
At places where they offer free refills of popcorn and soda, after the first movie is over, I grab the large bag of popcorn and large soda cup from the person next to me, dump the contents, wash the cup, get a new lid and straw, take it to the concession stand and enjoy my free popcorn and soda ($13 savings right there).

Do not attempt to do this while on a date. Your date will never go out with you again...
:-p

Jahlapenoez said:   You may have missed the news article a few weeks ago where AMC decided to add a surcharge to people who use those pre-paid movie vouchers at a handful of theatres. Who's to say this won't become a norm among metropolitan areas, killing the resell or future value.

Or they could just discontinue selling whichever movie voucher you bought a ton of, increase/add a surcharge the older vouchers, and release a new type of pre-sale voucher at a higher discounted movie ticket price (relative to whatever inflation adjusted ticket price is in the future) without the surcharge.


http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jun/04/business/la-fi-lazarus-2...

http://consumerist.com/2013/06/04/amcs-location-surcharges-take-...

http://www.amctheatres.com/gold-silver-tickets-terms
In NYC, they have had a surcharge for years on these AMC tickets. Face value of tickets is $12 or $15 per ticket.

Wouldn't forever stamps be a better choice for something like this?

jomarrod said:   I don't go to the movies very often, but when I do, I make sure there is at least more than 1 movie I want to watch. I pay for my ticket to go to matinee, bring my own treats, hang around after it is over and watch 2 more movies ($19 savings right there).
At places where they offer free refills of popcorn and soda, after the first movie is over, I grab the large bag of popcorn and large soda cup from the person next to me, dump the contents, wash the cup, get a new lid and straw, take it to the concession stand and enjoy my free popcorn and soda ($13 savings right there).

Do not attempt to do this while on a date. Your date will never go out with you again...
:-p
There is a difference between being cheap and ripping off the movie companies.

not enough profit in movie tickets not to mention tying up your cash try something else

jomarrod said:   I don't go to the movies very often, but when I do, I make sure there is at least more than 1 movie I want to watch. I pay for my ticket to go to matinee, bring my own treats, hang around after it is over and watch 2 more movies ($19 savings right there).
At places where they offer free refills of popcorn and soda, after the first movie is over, I grab the large bag of popcorn and large soda cup from the person next to me, dump the contents, wash the cup, get a new lid and straw, take it to the concession stand and enjoy my free popcorn and soda ($13 savings right there).

Do not attempt to do this while on a date. Your date will never go out with you again...
:-p

I'm sorry, but that is disgusting. Can't you get sick if the person is ill?

Rajjeq said:   
I'm sorry, but that is disgusting. Can't you get sick if the person is ill?


No, but you can probably get ill if the person is sick.

i try to go to the matinees which is any movie before 6pm which cost me $4.50 to $5.50 depending on the theatre. also the turn around time to dvd of movies is about 4 months and rebox 5 months.

Like most other "tactics" the problem would probably lie in obstacles converting your tickets back into cash.

Sounds like selling a ticket with a "forever" price and later charging a surcharge to use them is begging for a class action. Where's Mikef07?

Years back, I never bought those tickets because I would get the Entertainment book (usually for a few dollars or free after FatCash) and the discount was the same price as those No Expiration date tickets. But now the entertainment book coupons only take around $1.50 off a ticket (around me $11), so it's better to get them from Costco ($16 for 2).

There was once before when I bought a few tickets from Costco because our local theaters had gone from $8 to $10 to $11 in about two months and Costco still had the 2packs for $14, but I didn't really stock up because I figured I could always go back and get more. That price didn't last much longer.

I agree with others, not sure how much I would stock up since things can easily change. Also, are you going to sell the tickets at a discount to people in the future? How do you turn them back into cash, or did you just want to save yourself money?

SUCKISSTAPLES said:   I dunno where you see movies for $8'now its $11 in most major metro areas

Depends on when you go. In SF both AMC and Century offer the first showing of each movie for $6-$7, usually before noon but last Sunday I saw Superman at 3PM in West Portal for $7. I save my movie vouchers for evening shows but they can be a pain to use with the box office lines. The uncouth and misbehaving crowds more than anything else have turned me off the idea of theatres and stockpiling. I have bought a lot of forever stamps and actually going through those faster than I expected (mostly from greeting cards).

breaux124 said:   There was once before when I bought a few tickets from Costco because our local theaters had gone from $8 to $10 to $11 in about two months and Costco still had the 2packs for $14, but I didn't really stock up because I figured I could always go back and get more. That price didn't last much longer.
Costco still does the 2/$14 every once in a while. The last time was about six months ago if I remember correctly.

OP, you can do a small-scale test of how hard it would be to offload tickets.

jomarrod said:   I don't go to the movies very often, but when I do, I make sure there is at least more than 1 movie I want to watch. I pay for my ticket to go to matinee, bring my own treats, hang around after it is over and watch 2 more movies ($19 savings right there).
At places where they offer free refills of popcorn and soda, after the first movie is over, I grab the large bag of popcorn and large soda cup from the person next to me, dump the contents, wash the cup, get a new lid and straw, take it to the concession stand and enjoy my free popcorn and soda ($13 savings right there).

Do not attempt to do this while on a date. Your date will never go out with you again...
:-p


Okay you had me until the re-using cups and popcorn containers.

OP, how do you plan to sell the tickets? Craigslist? Unless you have a job where you can basically peddle the tickets while you're working, you might quickly find that the time you spend - whether it be meeting a buyer in person, or using PayPal and emailing the tickets them - to not be worth your while. Working the selling seamlessly into your life is a huge key, along with the theaters not completely changing the rules to your (and your buyers') detriment.

Too illiquid of an "investment".

avalon6 said:   I wondered what people thought of this idea. There has been talk about a major change in the business model of how theaters operate. Steven Spielberg recently said in the future, “You’re gonna have to pay $25 for the next Iron Man, [but] you’re probably only going to have to pay $7 to see Lincoln.” A movie ticket in 2000 was $5.39 vs. $8.00 now, easily outpacing inflation. It seems to me that you can profit from movie ticket prices rising in the future or a pricing model that charges much more for a certain movie genre by stockpiling "forever" movie tickets. Regal and others lets you buy unrestricted movie vouchers in bulk for $8 each (see Regal) I predict the price of a movie ticket will easily exceed $20 in a decade. If you buy now and resell (or use them) later, it seems you would have doubled your investment in a short time span. Only risk I see is if Regal goes bankrupt in the near future.

http://insidemovies.ew.com/2013/06/21/50-dollar-movie-tickets/


Steven Spielberg is assuming that people will pay $25 per person to see the next Iron Man in the movie theater. Maybe they would in a commercial vacuum. But the reality is that people have other options available to them - like waiting for a movie to come to Redbox or Netflix. Or streaming it. Or getting it through illegal means (from the internet). When prices go up that severely, the movie-going market dries up. It's happened before with the movie theaters. Like when prices first broke the $10 barrier. People stop going to the theater as often. Families won't take their kids to as many movies if entry alone costs them close to $100.

Some may go looking for discount tickets, but you might have fewer people in general going to the theaters for their movie fixes. It would be difficult to predict how market changes might affect your ability to profit. Not to mention that the theaters arbitrarily coming up with new "rules" governing how your older passes can be used might severely affect your ability to profit (like maybe disallowing their use until a movie is a month old or something).

SUCKISSTAPLES said:   I dunno where you see movies for $8'now its $11 in most major metro areas

I have the inverse problem - Rave Theaters (one of the smaller chains), has been offering $5.25 day / $7 evening admission for close to a year, so unless there's a real driver to endure the theater-in-a-mall experience, we go to one of their locations.

Ironically, I have a stack of "Purchase a discounted ticket for $8" coupons for the larger chains that we've been unwilling to use, because it just doesn't make FW sense.

jomarrod said:   I don't go to the movies very often, but when I do, I make sure there is at least more than 1 movie I want to watch. I pay for my ticket to go to matinee, bring my own treats, hang around after it is over and watch 2 more movies ($19 savings right there).
At places where they offer free refills of popcorn and soda, after the first movie is over, I grab the large bag of popcorn and large soda cup from the person next to me, dump the contents, wash the cup, get a new lid and straw, take it to the concession stand and enjoy my free popcorn and soda ($13 savings right there).

Do not attempt to do this while on a date. Your date will never go out with you again...
:-p


great tips, here are a few more

FREE DINNER: sometimes I go to restaurants and kinda wander around and when people are finished eating, but have food left on their plate, I will grab it and take their leftovers home.

FREE SNACKS: Also to save money on snacks for you movie experience, hang around behind a bakery, they often toss perfectly good bagels and baked goods into the trash, you just dig out what you want and free snacks for your movie.

FREE CAR RENTAL: Buy a red jacket and pretend to be a valet at a busy country club or restaurant. You can then use their car for free for up for an hour (pro tip: ditch the jacket after you run your errands and return the car and snag some free leftover from inside the restaurant).

FREE CIGARETTES: have you ever noticed people smoke on average about 75% of their cigarettes, sometimes even less when they are short on time. Hang out near a smoke break door during a play and grab a ton of cigarette butts that people discard and take them home and roll your own.

If you don't mind sleeping under your desk or showering at your work gym, PM me and I'll give you some tips on how to live RENT FREE at work.

dshibb said:   The primary risk here isn't default.

The primary risk here is a disruptive technology that no one here would think of that would fundamentally alter the business model of watching movies in a way that caused losses to the holders of massive amounts of these tickets.


Risk of default is possible especially due to technological changes. If new tech makes the difference between home theater experience and movie theater experience smaller, people may just opt to stream movies on demand for a fraction of the cost and hassle. In that case, movie theaters may go under.

Changes in terms and conditions is also a risk. Movie theaters may not want tons of future ticket obligations sitting out there. Kinda like the rebate prepaid debit card thing where they put in fees beyond a certain period of time.

Other thing to consider is whether ticket price increases are gonna beat inflation or returns on investment of other similar risk investments. Kinda same thing as for people considering stocking up on forever stamps.

Even the numbers aren't that impressive. Doubling your money every 10 years means 7% annualized returns. Not exactly amazing returns for the not-so negligible risks. Beside that price increase prediction is way out of thin air. Picking your investment strategy on those fundamentals is pretty close to simply going to Vegas (except you won't even enjoy yourself as much).

tante said:   
great tips, here are a few more

FREE SNACKS: Also to save money on snacks for you movie experience, hang around behind a bakery, they often toss perfectly good bagels and baked goods into the trash, you just dig out what you want and free snacks for your movie.


I know you're joking but:
In college I was out late with some friends at Wawa (like 7-11 but super awesome) and they were bringing in the fresh doughnuts and muffins. My buddy asked the guy what he was going to do with the leftovers, and he said, "Just toss them, why do you want them?" Because he couldn't waste the time taking them all off the trays and put them neatly in boxes, he got a clean trash bag and just started dumping everything inside and handed the bag to my friend. It looked so "trashy" but we had a huge bag full of 1 day old doughnuts, bagels and muffins. In college this was like winning the Lottery.

jomarrod said:   I don't go to the movies very often, but when I do, I make sure there is at least more than 1 movie I want to watch. I pay for my ticket to go to matinee, bring my own treats, hang around after it is over and watch 2 more movies ($19 savings right there).
At places where they offer free refills of popcorn and soda, after the first movie is over, I grab the large bag of popcorn and large soda cup from the person next to me, dump the contents, wash the cup, get a new lid and straw, take it to the concession stand and enjoy my free popcorn and soda ($13 savings right there).

Do not attempt to do this while on a date. Your date will never go out with you again...
:-p


Now I'll be on a lookout for those attractive ladies walking away in disgust from guys refilling their popcorn bags...

I wish there was a Movie Theatre that just showed "classics" I wouldn't mind paying $8 to see Star Wars in Theatre or other flicks like Blade Runner, Fifth Element, Space Odyssey etc....

Maybe they show classic movies like Citizen Kane, Gone with the Wind etc.

duplicate.

Excuse me... but why would the movie industry then be their own worst critic, by saying via ticket price, this movie release isn't a blockbuster or this movie may not be worth seeing because we didn't value it a premium. There are many great movies that are "sleepers" and other big production movies that are duds. Often times advertising budget comes into play. I don't see it, or should I say won't see it.

bigdinkel said:   I wish there was a Movie Theatre that just showed "classics" I wouldn't mind paying $8 to see Star Wars in Theatre or other flicks like Blade Runner, Fifth Element, Space Odyssey etc....

Maybe they show classic movies like Citizen Kane, Gone with the Wind etc.
. The Florida Theater has a summer classic movie series. A few years back I saw Red River there. St Augustine is showing Casablanca, from here to eternity, etc....... for free. So there places around country. Think of Rocky Horror that's been playing for decades.

Skipping 37 Messages...
JaxFL said:   gotta admit its funny. I personally don't care what you do. I prefer not to justify minor indiscretions. That may be nothing more than a fact of life. I've brought food, candy... into theaters. I've once or twice saw more than one movie. When my son wanted subway and I wanted mcd,s... I bought him a sub and we brought it into mcd,s. Nobody questions it when your in a food court of mall... just like years ago, no decades.... they supposedly had double and triple features, even at drive ins. Guess it is similar to cable/sat, where the end user/ provider is squeezed to where its no almost no longer a valuable commodity. But let me say, I believe its called theft of service. No its not a shirt made in Bangladesh, but that's what its called. Just don't also justify it by saying you bought concessions, that were a greater value proposition knowing you were staying the day.

I'm not trying to justify it in the sense that I am trying to prove what I am doing is not wrong. I also am not really looking for approval. I know that most people here see this as either not a big deal, or else they imagine themselves snowy white and look to condemn (or they just like pretending to be online). I'm sure at the least it is against movie theater policy, and at worst they could call the cops on me - although I'm not sure what they would charge me with..or if they would press charges. They would probably kick me out. It is funny how you often see things in stores like "shoplifters will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law." But not once have I ever seen a sign at the theaters which says something like "Ticket provides entry only to film and time listed on ticket."

But, as you said - minor indiscretion. My whole point in putting myself out here originally with this was to back up one of the other posters who got hammered by admitting he sneaks in. That is my whole point, is that it is a relatively minor indiscretion, and he who is without sin should cast the first stone. Never (really never?) have you snuck into a movie? Consumed downloaded/copied material? Cheated on a test? Fudged your taxes? etc, etc. Not saying I or anyone of us has done all of these - but sneaking into movies used to be like a childhood right of passage. I don't know how old the original poster was - or how much of a habit this is for him (again I have done it only a handful of times).

Also, I do think it is somewhat relevant to the larger discussion of movie economics that I am justifying my concession purchase with a single ticket as a greater value than paying for multiple tickets without concessions. If only to make you aware that in the former scenario the theater profits more, and in the latter the studio does. Constitutional/Federal/State/Municipality law does not always equate to Natural law or fairness. Although no movie theater would *ever* admit to it, I can pretty much guarantee that economically, they would rather you came in on a single movie ticket, bought $15 of concessions, and stayed for 3 movies then buy a ticket to 3 movies and not buy concessions. They *honestly* make more money that way since they don't need to report the unknown "stolen" movies in ticket sales to the studios.

Now, the contrary to my argument is the golden rule... What if everyone did this? Well then, likely ticket sales would be so abysmal the studios would either raise pricing or stop making movies (as opposed to more smartly trying to lower prices or provide a better experience)...and movie theaters would likely close down on a mass scale. Therefore, it isn't good behavior because if everyone did it, it would lead to bad results.



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