Random Factoid #421

22 09 2010

If I weren’t a) a student with a ton of homework and rehearsal or b) living in Houston, the fourth-biggest city in the nation which still can’t get any street cred for indie movies, I would so be hitting up this amazing opportunity to pay what I want for “Freakonomics.”  According to Cinematical, it’s just as simple as this:

Most people who abstain from going to the movies seem to do so because of the price. Well, what if you could go see a film for one cent? Yes, one penny. That’s theminimum you have to pay for an advance screening of ‘Freakonomics’ this Wednesday (September 22, 2010). The maximum? $100. Which would you rather? Or might you want to give something in between? Maybe you feel obligated to pay what you’re usually charged for a movie?

All you have to do is fill out a quick, anonymous survey so economists can analyze data about what kind of person chooses what kind of cost for him or herself. The questions are mostly related to age, education level, income and how much you usually spend at the movies, if at all regular. Also, you have to be able to get to one of the participating Landmark Theaters in the ten select U.S. cities (the ten big ones).

The pay-what-you-want model has long been a staple of museums and has in recent times been used for digital music. But this might be the first major feature film to employ the concept, and it makes sense with a documentary about alternative economics. It also could hopefully — though doubtfully — influence how movies are priced in the future, if not theatrically than digitally.

Is anyone curious to hear what I would pay if I could have gone?  Even if you aren’t, I’m still telling you here.

I would pay $6.  As a student, cheap movies are something I actively seek, and I will seize the opportunity to see them when I can.  I couldn’t honestly pay a penny because I would feel a certain sense of obligation to be somewhat charitable with my money since Magnolia Pictures was nice enough to provide the screening.  However, that charity would not make me pay a normal ticket price or a larger sum.

I’m curious to see the results of this social experiment.  How many people spent $100?


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