How Much Would You Pay for a "World War Z" Mega Ticket?


Are you eagerly anticipating Marc Forster's zombie apocalypse blockbuster World War Z? Is it the film you've been most excited about all summer? Are you a die hard fan of Max Brooks's original novel and you're just so pumped to see it on-screen that you don't even mind if the movie bears any real resemblance to the book? If you said yes to all three of these questions, then you're probably the target audience for Paramount's gambit that there's an audience out there willing to shell out $48.75 for an IMAX 3D screening of the Brad Pitt horror thriller along with a free popcorn, a movie poster, some custom 3D glasses, and a digital copy of the film. The only problem is, if you break down the package piece by piece, you realize just how desperately Paramount is trying to milk the consumer for every cent they've got.

For a breakdown of this nonsense, just keep reading.

On average, a ticket for a 3D IMAX movie runs about a cool $20, which leaves this $48.75 package with more than half it's nearly $50 price tag unaccounted for. So what's Paramount giving us with our viewing of World War Z that makes this deal worthwhile and not an utter rip-off?

Not enough, that's for sure. Based on a press release Paramount released today the full package includes: adult ticket to an advance RealD 3D showing of “WORLD WAR Z” at participating theaters on Wednesday, June 19th at 7:30 p.m. and a small popcorn, one HD digital copy of the movie when it becomes available*, one pair of “WORLD WAR Z” collector’s custom RealD 3D glasses, and one official full-size limited-edition movie poster, while supplies last.

That means, according to Paramount, an HD digital copy of World War Z (not even immediately, but rather when it's released through iTunes, etc.), a custom pair of 3D glasses, and a movie poster should cost you $28.75. If that number seems high, it's not just you. It's ridiculous.

Unless this is a poster of Mondo artist caliber, how many people are actually going to want a poster of World War Z the movie on their wall? How much would you normally pay for such a poster otherwise? Would you pay for it at all? The vast majority of people wouldn't, especially if it had a price tag of about $10. How about 3D glasses? Can you even place a value on those at all?

Really, that remaining $28.75 value all ends up on the HD digital copy. Nevermind that that's a hugely high price for a digital copy, especially when you could get a Blu-ray/3D Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy combo pack for that same price, but you don't even get it until such a combo pack is available in stores anyways.

I'm all for studios and cinemas offering extended experiences like marathons and Q&A's but attempting to suck consumers dry because they don't want to bother to do the math on a package's true value is shameful. Buying a World War Z Mega Ticket is essentially overpaying for an HD digital copy of a film and buying a ticket for a movie whose scope and visuals don't even necessitate the IMAX 3D experience. 

This just seems like further proof that studios and theater chains are woefully unaware of why people tend to go to theaters less and less: they get price gouged more and more with each passing year. There are ways to draw more people in, but overcharging them for a movie with a bunch of lackluster extras isn't the way to do it.


Lex Walker • Editor

He's a TV junkie with a penchant for watching the same movie six times in one sitting. If you really want to understand him you need to have grown up on Sgt. Bilko, Alien, Jurassic Park and Five Easy Pieces playing in an infinite loop. Recommend something to him - he'll watch it.


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