Netflix: Note Up Your Queues

netflix_logo2If your Netflix queue is well over 100 movies, it could take a year or longer before that just-added title arrives in your mailbox. This creates the problem of having to remember the reason you wanted to watch something. How many times have you opened that red envelope only to discover a movie you’ve never heard of and have no interest in seeing? It’s time to put an end to these situations. Continue reading

Do Movie Theaters Really Make All Their Money From Popcorn and Candy?

The privilege of satisfying one’s sweet tooth while enjoying a flick on the big screen can be costly.  Prices as high as five dollars or more for a box of candy, soda or bag of popcorn alone are not uncommon in some cinemas.  That can be five times (or more) what these items cost in the super market or a typical vending machine.  These facts lead many to conclude that movie theaters make all their money from these concessions, a myth that has turned into urban legend.

Surveying recent public financial statements from the three largest theater chains—AMC, Regal and Cinemark—reveals the truth of the matter.  Each of these theater chains earned about 70% of its total revenue from ticket sales, about 25% from concessions, and the remainder from other sources (such as on-screen advertising, rental of the theaters to third parties, gift card fees and the arcade games you might see in the lobby). Continue reading

Eight Reasons to Quit Cable TV

Two years ago I canceled my cable TV subscription and never regretted it, and you should consider doing it too, for the following eight reasons:

1. Cable is too expensive. At $60-$100 per month, depending on what you subscribe to, that money can be put to better use — and I don’t mean on something other than entertainment. With this budget at your discretion each month, subscribe to Netflix ($10-$30), go to the movie theater ($20-$40) and have enough left over to buy/rent a TV show or movies from iTunes, Amazon or the local video store. Sure, you can’t get everything that’s on TV that way, but once you shut off access to cable, you soon forget about what you might have had if you had it, and focus on enjoying the shows you do have access to. Continue reading