March 17, 2009 ~ 07:24pm
I can count on one hand how many times I went to see a movie on opening weekend. Although it was fun, I never did so because I was eagerly anticipating the movie. It was always because of the situation or the company I was keeping at the moment. In the eyes of the movie industry I'm a bust - I don't succumb to paying $9.50 right away and add to what makes a movie a "blockbuster".
I don't mind waiting to see a movie. I find watching a DVD on a regular 30inch screen with normal 5.1 sound perfectly enjoyable. And renting is a fraction of the theater price (especially for a group). Previously I preferred to rent movies at Hollywood Video (which was previously "Video Watch"). The DVD rental there would only cost $3.00. However too many stores closed or were re-located, and I ended up going to Blockbuster. I found the more expensive rental fee of $3.99 acceptable since the alternative was incredibly inconvenient, and it was something I did rather infrequently.
However over the past 2 years the rental price at Blockbuster where I live went to $4.29 and now is at $4.69! This is getting to be too much. It has reached the tipping point that buying a used DVD maybe only marginally more expensive than renting a used DVD, and in the case of a slightly older movie, buying will be cheaper than renting!
What are the alternatives? Many cities and college campuses now have DVD "kiosks" which you can get a rental for as cheap as $1. The only downside is that it is typically 1 day only and the selection is incredibly limited. Netflix offers rentals in the mail. However their plans aren't that much cheaper if you watch DVD's as slow as I do. If you have Digital Cable you can use "On-Demand", but often neither the price nor the qaulity is worth a 24 hour rental.
Or do what I do: Buy used! You can go to Ebay and sometimes walk away with a $5 used DVD. Or if you don't like bidding, use Amazon. For Amazon just make sure you select "Buy used" and it can be as low as $1.99 (sometimes cheaper). For both sites shipping is max $3.00 (never buy if it is more than that). Understandably the $3 shipping may seem like a waste, but since you own the movie you can recover a large portion of the cost by easily reselling it on Ebay, Amazon or Craigslist. (Please be careful when using Craiglist as there is no protection for buying or selling).
Right now I keep a list of older movies (within the past 5yrs) that I would like to watch. If I see them cheap on any of the above sites, I will snatch them up. I have a stack that I haven't watched yet. The best part is that they are always there whenever I want to watch them - no need to run out and get something. When I'm done, I will keep the good ones and sell the rest. The money lost will still be cheaper than renting. It sounds time consuming but if you "queue up" and do it every few months, you'll find it can be fun.
Looking back, I will admit there were a few movies that I wish I had seen earlier and even fewer that I wish I had actually seen in the theater. But it's just a movie, and I am really glad I don't put that much value into it. If I were asked: "What's a movie worth to me?", my response would be "maybe $4 bucks - give or take".