Showing posts with label budget. Show all posts
Showing posts with label budget. Show all posts

Friday, April 4, 2008

The BMF is poor, and the poor avoids city-only movies

If you noticed my expenditures recently, they are on the high side, due to movies that are only screened in limited theatres, often the ones located far from where I am. I've had to pay more just to make sure I'm able to make it to the showing. I have no choice with the five Oscar Best Picture nominees, but I do have a choice with the others. Unless it is absolutely necessary, or the movie's highly anticipated, I will wait for the DVDs instead. This will not affect blockbuster movies as they are usually available at the cinema in front of my apartment. I might still watch those affected movies released later in the year, if their DVD releases won't make it before my annual cut-off time every early March, right after the Oscars.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The price of living far from the city

That's what I felt like doing to the car of the person who schedules the Oscar movies in Singapore. But I wouldn't know who that person is, or even know where to begin to find his car. Furthermore, I don't plan on going to jail for it, so I'll have to be contented with Walter doing the deed on my behalf.

If you're not following, then you must have missed my earlier posts about the near-impossible task of watching the Oscar-nominated movies especially if you're car-less and live and work at least 25 minutes away from the city. The movies are rarely ever shown outside the city, and often scheduled during working hours or very near to closing time, leaving not much time for travelling. Late shows are out of the question because the buses and MRT stop services right before a late show ends.

I had no choice but to attend surcharged weekend shows. This was how the cinemas f***ed this stranger in the ass:

Minimum weekday ticket cost = $6 ($30 for 5 movies)
Minimum weekend ticket cost = $8.50 ($42.50 for 5 movies)

The price of living far from the city = $12.50 or 42% above weekday prices, suckers!

Also, last Monday's Evangelion 1.0 : You Are (Not) Alone ticket fare = $8.50! Why?
One, the cinema that's showing it increased their fares recently.
Two, the movie is exclusive to this cinema.
Three, therefore every single Evangelion fan in Singapore will be bottlenecked to the only two cinemas showing it, thus guaranteeing that seats will be unavailable. Price for booking a seat in advance = add. $1.

To see the complete BMF Budget, click here.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

How to save money on movies

This guy put up a very helpful list of things that you can do to save money on movies on his blog. I originally saw this via a link from

Just to add a few things in relation to this side of the world (Singapore, to be precise):

  1. Discounts: This info may be outdated in a few years time, but most of the discounts available are credit card privileges. HSBC offers a dollar off on every GV ticket, Maybank provides a special membership price, and Citibank lets you redeem points for movie tickets. Of course, the cinemas themselves have their own discounts, packages and bargain days. Notably, GV has just started a membership thing where members get concession rates on tickets and snacks, and it's free. Cathay currently gives out free tickets for toddlers on Tuesdays among other things, and Shaw recently has a buy-four-get-one-free (albeit for Citibank cardholders only).
  2. Film events: In Singapore, they're mostly managed by the Singapore Film Society (SFS), who charges membership that provides ticket discounts for said events and also blockbuster movies. But only if you're watching tons of arty movies and like to mingle with real film connoisseurs.
  3. Cheaper movies: Many should have noticed by now that Code/Region 3 DVDs (that are made in Singapore or Malaysia) are significantly cheaper than imported US Region 1 DVDs, sometimes more than half the price. But I've experienced R3 DVDs that are inferior to its R1 counterparts, in terms of features and even video/audio quality (due to compression issues). These wouldn't matter if you don't really care for special features, do not own home theatre systems, or couldn't tell the difference between 480p and 1080i screen resolutions. Another format to consider is the VCD, though it's far inferior and cumbersome than the DVD in every ways, especially the need to swap discs mid-movie. There are also less scrupulous and much cheaper/free sources of movies across the border and on the world wide web, but that would be unfair to the men and women who worked their asses off in the making of movies. Also, indulge at your own risk.
  4. Buy used: I saw Cash Converter selling second-hand DVDs once, but the selections are, not surprisingly, pretty horrible. The market for second-hand DVDs are not as prevalent as in the West, but it's not like you can't find anything good if you looked hard enough. There are also online classifieds where you can find people trying to hawk their old discs. But again, the problem here is variety.
  5. Borrow from friends: This is probably the most popular way of saving money on movies. But it goes bothways. You'll also need to own something they want to exchange with. The problem of variety again.
  6. Rental: This is The Big Movie Freak's second-most favourite way of saving costs. Renting a movie can be as low as $3.50 that lets you keep it for several days at end. and VideoEzy lets you hold the discs for as long as you want with a fixed monthly fee. With rentals, you get to watch your movies at low, low prices, while not having to worry about shelf space.
  7. The number one Big Movie Freak way of saving costs: watch a movie upon its release at the cinema, and watch it on a budget day (Mon-Wed). You'll be watching movies in the best environment (dark room, large screen, surround sound), and you'll less likely to waste money on direct-to-video crap that rentals often expose you to. There are also those "good for watching only once" movies that you'd be glad you saw in the cinemas and not having to "try your luck" in buying or renting them.
  8. Cost-saving precision: do a budget plan. Why the heck do I wanna waste time doing a budget on how much I spend on movies, you say? As if planning household budgets and mortgage refinancing aren't enough headaches already! Well, if you're a movie freak like me that had been splurging an average of $1,000 a year on movies alone, a little planning goes a long way in keeping them costs from ballooning. I've since shaved my expenditure down to a modest limit of $500 without compromising what I need to watch and review every year. Like a responsible public-listed company, my budget is for all to see, right here.