Movie Ticket Prices Reach New Heights Skip to content

Movie Ticket Prices Reach New Heights

By Ragnar Tómas

People sitting in a cinema, eating popcorn.
Photo: Photo: Golli. People sitting in a cinema..

The price of movie tickets has exceeded ISK 2,000 [$13.95, €13.14] for the first time. Consumers interviewed by Vísir stated that the prices were “striking,” albeit indicative of the economic situation in the country.

From the economic crisis to post-COVID inflation

As reported by Vísir this morning, it was in April 2008 – just before the economic crash – that the price of a movie ticket surpassed the ISK 1,000 mark [$7, €6,57] for the first time. Consumers were upset:

“The price of the movie ticket was, in my opinion, shockingly high – but now it’s risen even further; the ticket has reached ISK 1,000, and then you have to buy popcorn, coke, and candy,” a contemporary blogger wrote.

Today, fourteen years later, the price of a movie ticket has broken the ISK 2,000 barrier; ISK 2,045 is the new general ticket price in the Sambíó, Háskólabíó and Smárabíó theatres. In other major cinemas, the price of the ticket sits is just under ISK 2,000. Just like fourteen years ago, visitors to the Kringlan shopping centre, whom Vísir spoke to yesterday, were not happy.

Price increases across the board

Alfreð Ásberg Árnason, from Sambíó the theatre, maintained, however, that a movie ticket likely amounted to one of the cheapest forms of two-hour entertainment in the country, arguing that the increase in ticket prices was far from being comparable to other increases elsewhere.

Vísir also compiled a list of prices for a few popular food and drink items in Iceland, noting that a hot dog at Bæjarins Beztu costs ISK 600 [$4.20, €3.95](following a considerable price increase from last season). Prices in ice cream shops have also risen: a small “þeytingur” (a specialty mix of ice cream with candy) at Ísbúð Vesturbæjar costs ISK 1,550[$10.80, €10.18] and a double cappuccino at Te & Kaffi costs ISK 835[$5.80, €5.50]. A beer at a bar can hardly be purchased at a price lower than ISK 1,450[$10.12, €9.55], which is exactly the price of half a litre of Tuborg at the Danish pub.

The National Statistics Office publishes inflation figures on Thursday, and Landsbankinn predicts that inflation will rise again, to 9.6 percent, before it subsides again in January. Consumers are feeling the price increases, especially now, in the run-up to Christmas.

“I can’t even buy Christmas presents for my mother,” Magnús Ingi Halldórsson, a young employee at the Kringlan shopping centre, told Vísir.

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