My dad’s always been a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and all things Middle Earth – I remember him giving me his well worn 1969 edition of The Lord Of The Rings to read when I was a child, on the strict proviso I took great care of it.
I’m not sure that at this early age I ever fully relished the wonder of the stories as much as my dad so obviously did – I wasn’t big on reading, especially when it involved looking after old books – however back in 2001, older and wiser, we started on our own unexpected journey and went to see Peter Jackson’s epic retelling of those tales on the big screen; We both loved it equally. I, like many millions of others, experienced the story of Frodo, Sam, Gollum and friends properly for the first time, and became enthralled in its magic.
Two more LOTR films followed, and I have since used a Christmas or Birthday as an excuse to purchase the DVDs for Dad. This year, with The Hobbit just around the corner, I thought we could do it all again.
No fucking chance.
Well, not at my local on a Thursday night as I’d anticipated, anyway.
I want to make it clear I’m not adverse to funding the creative arts, be that music, videogames, cinema or anything else. What I am adverse to is all the nonsensical extras and money making guffaw that surrounds a visit to the cinema.
If I go on the night I want, one week after release, this one showing may very easily end costing me upwards of £40. No thank you.
Perhaps we’re spoilt by the high-street price wars and quick release of our favourite movies on Blu-ray and DVD, or the modern uptake of HD television at home, but I really don’t see three hours in an uncomfortable seat, drinking flat Coke whilst some moron lights up my peripheral vision with their inane Facebook updates as the best value for money, nor does it seem to me the way a film like this should be viewed.
A single adult ticket to see The Hobbit is £12. This includes a £2.10 premium because it’s a 3D screening. Again, I understand that the 3D showing has apparently increased costs, but I’d be just as comfortable watching in 2D, in fact probably more-so – that is, of course, if there were any 2D showings at this cinema during the week I want to visit.
Oh, and for some reason that £2.10 gets me a 3D film, but not the glasses I need to watch it. Would you like those? That’s another 80p.
Two tickets, and two pairs of glasses; £25.60.
To me that’s already a bit pricey, but acceptable, just, so long as the auditorium isn’t full of the aforementioned local orcs – using their mobile phones and throwing popcorn at the back of your head.
God only knows how they afford popcorn though. That’s another £4 a head, and naturally, doused in so much salt you’ll be after a drink to wash it down – another £3.50.
Well, at least my pockets are lighter for the walk back downstairs to the pay-and-display car park.
Anyway, I think you get my point.
(Note: I’ll still be going. It’s The Hobbit, ain’t it? They’ve got me over a barrel.)