We collected data on movie prices from around the country on Fandango1, and here's what we learned:

At an average price of $13.95, New York is the most expensive state in our dataset, while Wyoming, at $6.35 - less than half the price - is the cheapest.

Where does your state rank? Find out below

The cheapest movie ticket in the country? AMC Classic East Pointe, in El Paso. A typical ticket there will set you back only $2.15.

Indeed, locals on Google don't seem to believe it.

While this Miami theater is crazy expensive

CMX Brickell City Center in Miami wins the title of most expensive theater in the country: a ticket on Fandango will set you back $26.75 or $28.99, depending on the day and format. On the bright side, your ticket comes with a blanket, free popcorn and access to a USB charger.

Still, some patrons don't feel they're getting their money's worth. Here are some choice selections from their Yelp page:

  • "Even though it's a dine-in theater, you're better off sneaking food in there because it takes so long to get your order."
  • "Service was awful, pizza like wet cardboard. There has to be a better way to waste $60"
  • "The blankets are sloppily folded, I can bet they are never washed since I have found hair and popcorn in its folds. And the restrooms....I will spare you the details."

In general, coastal cities have expensive theaters

The 5 most expensive cities2, as you may expect, fall in higher-cost-of-living cities on the coasts.

Shoutout to El Paso again!

The big chains, AMC and Regal, have nearly as many locations as all of the other chains combined. Alamo Drafthouse, founded just over 20 years ago, is already the 8th-largest chain, and still expanding rapidly.

Independent theaters and smaller chains (those with 30 locations or fewer) make up over half of the theaters listed by Fandango.

ReadyPipe users can use the Github Gist below to collect this data themselves. ReadyPipe is an all-in-one platform to run your web scrapers: you write the logic, it handles everything else. ReadyPipe is used by 3-person companies to 3,000-person companies: you can request access here.

For this project, we used ReadyPipe's built-in headless browser, which allows us to better replicate typical browsing activity.

Footnotes

1. For each theater, we collected the prices of the latest showing for each movie showing on a given day, and our analysis only includes standard format adult tickets (i.e. IMAX, 4D, etc. are excluded). We also made adjustments to eliminate the impact of matinee showings. Additionally, Fandango prices in some cases will exceed the price offered if a ticket were purchased directly from a theater.
2. Only cities with 500,000 residents or more (per Wikipedia) were included in this analysis.