June 06, 2012

AMC Theatres Raises Prices - the $14 Movie Ticket

Last week AMC Theatres quietly raised movie ticket prices in the New York City area. A regular ticket is now $14, up from $13, at the chain's major NYC multiplexes. The price for a pre-noon matinee is now $7, up from $6. For a 3D IMAX presentation you can expect to spend as much as $21.

Regal, with three Manhattan multiplexes, including one in Times Square across the street from AMC's flagship Empire 25 location, had already raised its NYC ticket prices to $13.50. On the west coast, tickets at AMC multiplexes are currently as high as $13.75.

The increase came within two weeks of AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. being bought by China's Wanda Group for $2.6 billion. And it's just in time to take advantage of advance tickets for The Dark Knight Rises, which go on sale on June 11.

While New York City ticket prices are often far higher than elsewhere in the country, and theaters might merely just be catching up to inflation, the price increases (if you notice them) are interesting to track because consumers tend to remember what they paid for movie tickets in years past. It wasn't too long ago that the $20 ticket plateau was reached for a single ticket, for IMAX 3D presentations at AMC's Lincoln Square multiplex.

Despite the increase, it should be noted that AMC is still the only chain in Manhattan to offer a significant matinee-style discount, albeit on screenings before noon.

Prices today for New York City movie theaters:

AMC: (Empire 25, 34th Street 14, Kips Bay, Lincoln Square)
Regular movie ticket: $14
AM Cinema (before noon): $7
3D: $18
ETX 3D: $19
IMAX (Lincoln Square): $20, or $21 for IMAX 3D
"faux"/"lite" IMAX (Empire, Kips Bay, 34th Street): $20

At the smaller AMC theaters (84th Street 6, 19th Street East 6, Village 7), tickets are slightly less, at $13.50 for a regular ticket and $6 for a pre-noon matinee.

Regular movie ticket: $13.50
RPX: $18.50
3D: $18

Clearview Cinemas, including the Ziegfeld: $13.25
Angelika Film Center, City Cinemas, Landmark Sunshine, IFC Center, Lincoln Center: $13
Film Forum: $12.50
Quad Cinema: $11


Is $14 (or $21) too much to spend to see a movie? In my opinion it's not, so long as it's a quality presentation with adequate sound and picture quality. But is it too much to spend to try to enjoy a movie among distracting smartphone screens, talkers, rowdy and obnoxious crowds, and individuals who have little consideration for the people around them? Considering that most theaters do little to nothing to enforce basic theater manners, $14 is way too much.

Read our story from March:
10 Ways to Save Money at the Movies, or: Why Only Suckers Pay $13


  1. I think it's worth nothing that the Regal on 42nd Street in Manhattan, there is a $1 price increase for weekend screenings, making the ticket price $14.50. Maybe it's not in effect any longer, but it certainly was when it caught us by surprise a few months ago.

    1. I didn't notice that before, but I do see that they matched AMC's $14 ticket starting next weekend.

      Again, I don't think these admission prices are crazy. I just believe that consumers paying that much should be allowed certain expectations of the environment they're seeing the movie in.

  2. It is too much to pay for a movie ticket, since American employers are paying their employees less today, and no cost of living wage bonuses or increases, and consider yourself fortunate to just even have a job today. When more and more people can't afford their bills, like today, then you are going to see movie theaters going out of business left and right if they don't lower their prices. It's a real simple choice people have now a days, you either go to a movie or you feed your family, most people can't do both. With a simple pop corn and drinks and bringing the whole family to an AMC means spending hundreds of dollars just for one lousy 2 hour movie. Is it worth spending that kind of money when you have other bills to pay and you are making less money than you did a decade ago and everything like your bills and rent and all else has sky rocketed above affordability ??? I don't know about you but maybe if you are just single and still live at home with your parents and you pay no bills. Yea' maybe then you can afford it ???

  3. And considering the super high un-affordable cost of having health care these days, and especially if you are a college student today, then you can forget about anything else, like going to a AMC movie, because every penny you have is going toward intuition fees, books, food, lodging etc. If you are silver spoon fed then perhaps maybe you too can afford an AMC movie.