The average movie ticket price is $8.65, according to Box Office Mojo. Add in a soda and some popcorn, and you can easily spend $20 at a theater.
For a family or even a couple, a movie night out can be expensive. There are ways to save money at the movies, if you plan ahead. Here are four:
- No snacks
If you can skip the concessions stand you’ll save at least 50 percent on the cost of going to the movies. If you have to buy something, check if the theater has a loyalty program that offers discounts on snacks.
Another option is to bring your own candy to the theater, though many prohibit it. The best option to save your wallet and waistline is to skip snacks entirely at the movies.
- Buy tickets in bulk
Your local warehouse club has deals on movie tickets, though you’ll probably have to buy at least four tickets at a time.
Costco has many ticket options: 10 AMC or Regal Entertainment tickets for $90, 10 Cinemark tickets for $85, or four tickets at any of those theaters for about $35.
Do the math before buying these packages. If you’re going to a less expensive matinee show, tickets can be cheaper if you buy them at the theater. For an evening showtime, the packages can make the average price cheaper than at the box office.
- Subscription service
For a monthly fee, MoviePass gives you tickets to two or three movies per month at a slight discount. The best deal is its unlimited movie plan — though “unlimited” is limited to one movie per day — for $40 to $50 per month. If you saw five movies in a week, the cost would be as low as $2 per movie.
The monthly subscription fee varies by location. Two movies per month cost $15 to $21, for example.
Nearly all major movie theaters accept MoviePass. You’ll need an iPhone or Android phone to use it.
- Other discounts
Going to an afternoon or other matinee movie is probably the best deal you’ll find on a movie ticket, but there are other discounts. Theaters often have lower prices for students and seniors, and some have discounts for active military members.
AAA offers discounts at AMC, Bow Tie Cinemas, Showcase and Regal. It offers $15 in savings when buying a book of five Regal UA Theaters tickets through the AAA website.
Groupon and Fandango sometimes sell movie tickets at a discount, and some theater apps have promo codes for lower prices.
Whatever movie you want to see when it arrives in theaters, do some research before going and look for the best discount available. Going on a Monday before 1 p.m., for example, may offer the best deal, or the theater’s website may have coupons to help you save some money.
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