Amongst the many experiences we all missed the most during the darkest times of lockdown in the pandemic, the joy of settling into a comfortable seat with a bucket full of popcorn and watching the latest blockbuster at the cinema was definitely near the top of the list.
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Movie theaters have been around for well over a hundred year and while modern technology means that we can stream films direct onto huge screens in our own homes, complete with surround sound, Netflix still can’t quite compete with the authentic cinema experience.
That’s why movie fans around the world still love to go to the theater, but while the basics of seeing a film at the flicks might be the same, the price of a movie ticket varies widely depending which country you’re in at the time. NetCredit has done the research to find out how much the cinema costs around the world and here is what they found:
The Most - And Least - Expensive Tickets In The World
Keeping up with the latest releases from the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe can be an expensive hobby for die-hard fans, but not if you live in El Salvador. The study found that movie lovers in this Central American country only pay on average $0.52 for a cinema ticket, making it the cheapest in the world.
It’s certainly a long way from the world’s most expensive country for cinema tickets, which turns out to be Lebanon, where they sell for an average of $29.78. And that’s even before you’ve bought the popcorn, nachos and drinks. These prices are due to inflation in the country and the need for cinemas to recover financially from the impacts of the pandemic.
The World’s Least - And Most - Affordable Movie Tickets
Of course, movie ticket prices may be high or low in certain countries but what really matters is how affordable they are for the people living there, so NetCredit also looked into this and found that countries like Norway and Australia may have amongst the most expensive tickets, but they are also amongst the most affordable for people on average (or higher) wages for those countries.
The most affordable cinema tickets are found in El Salvador (unsurprisingly given the price) and Luxembourg, both of which come in at just 1% of average daily salaries. Other countries whose average tickets come in at below 2% include Canada, Germany, South Korea and Sweden.
At the other end of the scale, even some of the cheapest tickets around are the least affordable, including Mali where tickets cost $4.48 on average, which is 59% of daily salaries. How often would you go to the cinema if it cost you more than half of your daily earnings? Other countries with low affordability include Cambodia (55.5%), Kenya (44.6%) and Nigeria (26.8%).
Which Countries Have The Most Cinema Screens Per 100k People?
When a big new film comes out, finding a screening can be difficult even in countries with lots of multiplexes like the USA or the UK. But for some countries, just finding a cinema can be almost impossible, let alone one showing the film you want to see. NetCredit also found out how many cinema screens there are in each country and worked out how many that is per 100,000 people.
It’s certainly bad news for Congolese movie fans - and those in several other African countries - with 0.01 screens per 100k people. Even South Africa has a relatively low score of 1.35 while many other countries around the world have less than 1 cinema screen for every 100,000 people.
Some countries have plenty of screens available, with the USA unsurprisingly high up in the rankings with a score of 12.26, but the movie-crazy island of St Kitts Nevis actually comes out on top. It only has seven cinema screens, but with a population of just 53,192 that works out as 13.16 screens per 100k people.
Which US States Have The Most Cinema Screens Per 100k People?
With the USA having 40,393 movie screens for its population of 329,484,123, you might think that movie fans are never going to struggle to find one nearby but how evenly are these cinemas spread around the country? It’s certainly true that the number of screens in the USA has almost doubled since 1987 but some states have better coverage than others.
And it’s not necessarily the states you might have expected. The Midwest is the USA’s movie screen capital, with North Dakota having 41.7 screens per 100k people, while Montana, Nebraska and Wyoming also have high scores, while the coastal states like Florida and even California - literally the home of Hollywood - have just 11 and 13.6 screens per 100,000 people.
Some of those trends carry on when the data breaks down into which cities have the most cinema screens, although the city with the best ratio is actually in California, with Santa Monica offering 50.9 screens per 100k people.
Boca Baton on Florida is also high up with 44.1, but at the other end of the scale Florida’s Cape Coral is bottom of the list with just 0.1 screen per 100k people, while Murrieta in California has just 0.2. There must be a lot of Netflix subscribers in those cities.
Why not check out the rest of the data and find out how cinema-friendly it is where you live?
Updated on Dec 14, 2021, 11:41 am