Some things to think about as you help raise the price of movie tickets and refreshments at my local theatre by means of your petty theft (by the way... will the next guide be "How to run an insurance scam?)

The last movie ticket I bought cost me $10. You can't tell me they're not raking in the dough.

A movie theatre rents the film from the distributor, and pays a price for that rental. Your movie ticket may cost $10, but most of that money goes right back to the distributor. How much? About 75% on opening weekend. Yeah, that's right. The theatre gets about $2.50 per ticket, before expenses.

The percentage the theatre gets goes up as the weeks go by. If a film manages to stay in theatres for eight weeks, the percentage may likely be reversed -- the movie theatre can keep 75% of box office receipts. Of course, these are receipts on half-filled theatres. The distributor has already made their money.

In addition to this wonderful agreement, distributors are also in a position to demand other concessions. Remember Episode I? Theatres knew Episode I was going to be huge, the kind of movie that would stick around for eight weeks, and still fill a good number of seats. 75/25 was a great deal for them, right?

Yeah, until Lucas set quality-of-presentation requirements. Theatres had to be equipped with the latest Lucas-certified sound systems. The film had to be shown on the largest screens in the theatre for a minimum of four weeks. And each screen had to have its own film... no swapping reels between screens.

The percentage payouts were never made public.

Yeah, so why do my damned Junior Mints cost me $7?

Evershrinking profit margins. You've got fewer blockbuster films, longer movies (which means fewer screenings), and higher overhead (wages, rent, electricity, advertising, etc). Theatres have to make money somehow, and it's not as though they're providing a wide array of services. There's movies and there's food, and while the 15 minutes of ads before the movie help, they have to jack up the price of food to make money.

Well, it's clear that the theatre doesn't care about me!

I thought this was a fairly amusing part of the above rant. Businesses do not care about individuals. It is not the responsibility of a business to care about its customers. But-- wha-- without the customers-- huh? The responsibility of a business is to care about its shareholders and its profits. That often goes hand in hand with customer satisfaction, but money, not people, is the bottom line. The fact that you don't like ads before the movie means nothing to the theatre, unless it affects their profits.

Well, that's fine. I'm going to still keep doing what I'm doing.

That's cool. Personally, I'd rather you to either grow up and start paying for services like everyone else, or stop participating in the "great pop-culture brainwashing conspiracy" and read a book instead. But whatever. I used to sneak into a movie here and there... and then I finished tenth grade. Do what you want... I'm upvoting the writeup because it's informative... just don't piss in my ear and tell me it's raining. Nothing about it is an act of civil disobedience, or even some sort of altruistic defiance of consumerism. It's petty theft, and I'm calling a spade a spade.