Friday, May 21, 2010


The big green ogre of ludicrously overpriced 3D movies has struck again. Schuker's lead in the Journal: "For the first time, a major Hollywood film will hit the $20 threshold at the box office, as movie-theater owners test the public's ability to absorb ever higher ticket prices. Several theaters will charge $20 per adult ticket to IMAX showings of the animated 3-D family film Shrek Forever After, the fourth Shrek installment from DreamWorks Animation. The theaters include the AMC theater in Manhattan's Kips Bay neighborhood, AMC Loews 34, AMC Loews Lincoln Square and AMC Empire 42nd Street."

I'll give the Lincoln Square venue a pass--it's the only legitimate IMAX screen in Manhattan, with the towering mega-story screen and vertigo-inducing seats. You always pay a premium for that unique experience, if not this much of one. But the rest, hell no. They're faux IMAX presentations.

$20 is a nosebleed price...but my tatty Brooklyn multiplex is hardly a bargain, either, with 3D tickets for Shrek's latest adventure costing $16.50 (a $4 surcharge) and a "mere" $13 for kids and seniors. Outrageous. I remember just a few years back when Ed Koch was railing against $10.50 movies, and look where we are now, thanks to a wheezing technology that once experienced adds little to the show.

So don't pay to see it in 3D. Don't pay to see anything in 3D. Do as I do, and don't return your rental glasses next time. You paid $4 for them for maybe two hours of use, I figure they're yours. Bring them to your next 3D movie...but buy a regular-priced ticket for another movie, and just walk into the 3D one. No one checks tickets, and the same pair of glasses works for any 3D movie.

Or just stop this madness and go see Shrek in regular 2D, which is still possible to do. Hey, I love Shrek, I really do...and I hate to see him tricked out by his corporate masters. Out-hustle the hustlers. You owe it to yourself and your family to leave some food on the table, like Shrek does.

Update: It's just a big mistake, says AMC, retreating. Tickets are $17-$19, practically a bargain, right? Feel good about that.

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