Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Going To the Movies Costs $250

The various lobbying groups frequently throw out statistics showing the financial harm piracy causes their industries. These numbers are usually taken at face value and reported as fact by the anti-piracy critics and the media. Every time, these inflated numbers are debunked by those with the patience to comb through the details of the reports.

Admittedly, I don't read every piracy study that gets released into the wild. I kind of randomly read a few when one specific detail perks my interest. But one thing I have observed is that people critical of file-sharing never read these reports, all they do it trump the end-result numbers. I find this very frustrating because if people on both sides of this debate were more educated on the topic, we could stop splitting hairs over fictional losses and get to the meat of these debates.

So with that, I want show you a glimpse of how many anti-piracy studies get their numbers. And we're going to do it by taking a trip to the movies.

Out in my part of town, movie tickets are $11 a pop. So when me and my guilty-by-associated-ip-address dirty pirate wife go see a movie, you might think it costs us $22. You would be wrong.

Sure the tickets cost $22, but when we see a movie we always get dinner at a nearby restaurant. I added up our last two months worth of grocery bills and they averaged $108 a week. At three meals a day, our average meal is $5.14. I also averaged our last 10 dining out meals and they averaged $47.84 per meal. So by going to the movies, we spend an extra $42.70.

  • Tickets: $22.00
  • Food Upgrade: $42.70

But let's not forget that I've actually got to get us to the movie theater, and that takes gas. The theater we go to most often is 6 miles away. So at $4.22 per gallon in my 17 miles per gallon truck, a round trip sets me back $2.98.

Well, we also have to take into account that driving those extra miles lowers the resale value of my truck. A Kelly Blue Book comparison of my vehicle at 1,000 miles and 100,000 miles shows a loss of $0.08 for every mile driven. There's also car insurance that runs me $0.06 per mile and oil changes, wiper blades, tires, battery, brake pads and general maintenance that sets me back another $0.11 per mile.

And if we're at dinner and a movie, we're certainly not working. Combined, my wife and I make about $61 an hour. A dinner and movie takes about 3 hours so this is costing us $183. And during dinner, we use my cell phone to decide on a movie and watch trailers. Using the phone runs about $0.002 per minute and we use it for around 20 minutes. And let's not forget that we're going to want something to drink and a snack while inside the theater.

  • Tickets: $22.00
  • Food Upgrade: $42.70
  • Gas: $2.98
  • Vehicle Depreciation: $0.96
  • Vehicle Insurance: $0.72
  • Vehicle Maintenance: $1.32
  • Missed Labor: $183.00
  • Cell Phone: $0.04
  • Snacks: $15.00
  • Total: $268.72

Over $260 to see one stupid movie? That's outrageous! Is there any question as to why I pirate movies? The only people able to afford to see movies on a regular basis are the 1%'ers. Good thing we don't have kids or else we'd have to consider the babysitter's labor rate and all of her vehicle and food expenses as well!

If you think I'm being unreasonable, then you obviously haven't read any of the piracy reports the industry has put out. This is the exact same methodology they use to generate their lost sales data.

Next post: Why I Share

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I intend to write up a blog entry which will be a factual approach to the matter of piracy.