My family loves to go to movies. Unfortunately, we also love to pay our mortgage, and the two things aren't necessarily compatible.
That's why we only pay full-price for three or four "big" movies a year, usually the screen version of something my kids and I have been reading (like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games), something that just looks too cool to pass up (like Iron Man and The Dark Knight), or something that features tall young blond men in exceptional physical condition.
(Hey, my wife gets a vote, too. After watching Thor, she and I had the following conversation:
Wife: So who is Thor supposed to be, anyway?
Me: I think he's some sort of god.
Wife: No kidding.
Of course, that's better than the running joke my two teenage sons had for weeks after seeing the movie, which went something like this:
Older son: Hi, I'm Thor.
Younger son: Well, put thum eyth on it.
I have no idea where they get this stuff.)
If a movie doesn't qualify as "big," but we want to see it in the theater, we'll usually wait until it comes to the local dollar cinema. Of course, these days a "dollar movie" actually costs two dollars, but who's counting?
Besides, eight dollars for the whole family is still less than I end up paying for the Redbox DVD that sits in my glove compartment for two weeks before I remember to return it. Plus, you get the "theater experience," i.e., sticky floors and upholstery stains of indeterminate origin.
Admittedly, the summer blockbuster season does intensify pressure to see movies while they're still relatively fresh. Each summer, we carefully determined which films we're going to pay full price for, and which ones we'll wait to catch at the dollar theater some rainy fall Saturday.
For instance, we've already decided that we're going to see The Avengers -- this week, in fact, as both a celebration of the end of another school year and a reward to the boys for making straight A's. (Hey, who needs a bumper sticker when you have a newspaper column.)
My wife obviously had no problem with that choice, since apparently The Avengers features not one but two tall young blond men in exceptional physical condition. I'm not sure what she's being rewarded for.
(Me: I think we should take the boys to see The Avengers.
Wife: What's that about?
Me: It's about a bunch of super heroes, like Thor and Captain America. ...
Wife: You had me at Thor.)
I'll probably also take the boys to see Battleship (because it just looks too cool to pass up) and The Dark Knight Rises (because, you know, it's Batman). The new Spiderman and Men in Black, meanwhile, will probably have to wait until fall.
Or maybe we'll just Redbox them, even if that does mean cleaning out my glove compartment.
Rob Jenkins is a local freelance writer and college professor. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.