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 the minimum 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.
In case you're not aware, 'Freakonomics' is an "all-star" documentary anthology based on the best-selling book by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt. Different sections have been directed by acclaimed filmmakers Alex Gibney, Eugene Jarecki, Morgan Spurlock, Seth Gordon and co-directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady.
The doc officially opens on October 1 (read our review here), so if you can make it Wednesday, you'll not only be a part of an experiment in movie ticketing economics, but you'll also get to see the film before most people. To get your ticket for a price of your choosing, click on that survey above and afterward you'll be sent to a special Movietickets.com page on which you can choose your location.