You want to watch a movie together as a family? Sounds fun! Of course, first you have to find a movie that the whole family can agree on. This can be difficult when you have four kids.
The new Avengers movie? Too scary for the little ones.
The latest movie starring The Rock? A little too intense.
The comedy from that one gal who has her own show on cable? Too crass.
Deadpool? Heck no!
That musical about the circus starring Wolverine? Sure, why not.
Now, I've got to admit, a movie where everyone sings about a circus wasn't really high on my must-see list, but I'd heard good things about it, including from some people who normally wouldn't like that kind of thing. Plus, a musical might be a good way to get a few different songs stuck in my head. (Currently stuck in my brain: all the songs from Coco.) (Plus all the songs from Moana.) (Plus, still, all the songs from Frozen.) (Because you cannot let go the songs from Frozen. Ever.)
So, we made the decision that we were going to see The Greatest Showman as a family. Hooray, we agreed on a movie! But, we still had a decision to make. Should we go see it at the theater, or should we wait until it came out on DVD or streaming, and watch it at home?
|I've been told I look just like Wolverine...by absolutely no one.|
(You could be the first!)
It's a pretty tough call, especially with four kids, including two aged three or younger. There's a lot of great things about experiencing a movie at the theater. The screen is big. The sound is great. The seats are comfortable. It's how movies were meant to be seen!
But, there are drawbacks. If the kids are unruly, you have to worry about them ruining the movie experience for other theater-goers. If you need to change a diaper, you have to leave the theater to do it; you can't hit the pause button.
Of course, the biggest deterrent from taking the family to the theater is the cost. At the new local theater, the cost is $6.75 for each child ages one through eleven. That's $27.00 just to get the four kids into the movie. Adult prices are $7.25 for matinees, or $9.25 for evening shows. So, for our family of six, that's either $41.50 for a matinee, or $45.50 for an evening showing!
Do you know how many movies you could get at the RedBox for $45.50? (Yes, I'm old. I go to the RedBox. I'd still go to Blockbuster if they hadn't closed down.) Of course, with $45.50 you could also purchase a few DVDs or stream several movies.
And that's not even figuring in the cost of the the theater popcorn or snacks! (Unless you're one of those cheapskates who smuggle in their own snacks.) (Guilty!) [NOTE: Saying "Guilty" in parenthesis is not a legal admission of actual guilt. (At least that's what my lawyer says.)]
So, we decided to go with the option of buying the DVD and watching the movie on our own television. For the $14.96 DVD price we could have only gotten two people into the movie.
There are, however, some negatives to watching the movie at home, too. For one thing, even though we have a fairly large television, that screen and sound system are not as good as the ones in the theater. Not even close.
Also, since you're at home, the little kids feel like they can just wander around the room willy-nilly. And they'll play with their toys. And if you know anything about children's toys, you know that they all play a song or make some kind of noise. So, while watching the movie I wasn't able to hear all the words, but I definitely got the gist of the show.
In the end, I guess it all comes down to which advantages and disadvantages you prioritize. The movie theater experience can be great. But, if you're like me and have several kids, it might be worth it to save a few dollars. (Those college funds don't grow on trees.)