23 July 2010

Watch now, or rent later?

Watching movies is one of life's simple pleasures which I truly enjoy. It is an event in itself. Way back when I worked in Makati, my colleagues have worked out a strategy when a highly-anticipated movie comes up. After a frenzied SMS exchange, we'd reserve tickets online, and as we make a dash for Glorietta after work, we'd already have the tasks to get tickets, food and queue sorted out. And then we'd head out to dinner or coffee (unless it's a midnight screening!). Sometimes we'd even get promotional items and toys from fast food tie-ups.

We'd be in the theatres at least twice a month with our exploits reported in this blog, to a point that this was even thought to be a movie and food review blog!

Alas, this is no longer the case here in New Zealand primarily due to the cost. In the Philippines, a movie in Greenbelt 4 costs P150.00 (around NZ$5.00), and that's already in a stylish, THX and Dolby surround sound cinema that can compare with New Zealand's (minus the extra wide chairs). For P500.00 (approx NZ$16.00) you would already be watching in an IMax cinema.

A movie ticket here costs around NZ$16.00 for adults and around NZ$11.00 for kids. And that's for regular cinema. 3D definitely costs more. Talk about expensive. This is also the case in the US, I am led to believe, but I still find it perplexing that movie tickets can cost so much! There's something called student night every Tuesdays where you can watch a movie for 9 dollars I think... still expensive).

I think this is why they say you shouldn't do the foreign exchange bit or else you will end up with buying nothing. Oh well.

This is one of the simple pleasures that I have to give up. So if you'd like to watch a movie but find it quite expensive (like me), better wait for it on home video. There's no Quiapo here where you can purchase bootlegged DVDs for under 2 dollars each (not that I'm endorsing it!) so the video rental business is still flourishing here (video rental in our country died when VHS gave way to DVD and piracy). On regular days a new release can cost $8.00 and for overnight use only. Older movies cost around $4.00 for a weekly hire. But if you can rent on a Monday or a Tuesday, better do so because you can rent movies (except the new releases) for only a dollar each, and it's for a week. This is for Civic Video.

On the upside, flat screen HDTVs are quite affordable here. Now, if only I can get a good price for a good sound system...

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