Saturday, February 1, 2014

Best Picture on a Budget

How to get the most bang for your buck while seeing a strong representation of the 2014 nominees.

These are my tips to see seven of the nine films nominated for Best Picture for less than $35 before Oscar Sunday, in the Portland Metro area. Concessions not included but tips for free treats are noted. Limited info about other areas is offered as well. Home viewing options should be fairly consistent across all markets.

Select Regal (R) theaters in the Portland area have reduced tickets prices for all showings on Tuesday. Tigard, Sherwood, Hilltop, Wilsonville and Movies on TV Regal locations charge $6.00 for any movie, at any time, all day on Tuesdays (3D charges would apply). Regal Evergreen charges $6.50 on Tuesdays for all showings. Get a Regal card while you are at it, you earn points for every dollar you spend at the box office and the concession stand. Even if you have a pass, you earn points. As you accumulate points, you will rotate between a free small popcorn, a free small soda and a free movie. You also get $2 popcorn on Tuesdays.

Cinemark/Century (C) theaters feature Early Bird rates. The first showtime of a movie at the Cedar Hills location is $6.50 all days of the week. The Clackamas Town Center and Eastport Plaza locations Early Bird rates are $6.75. If the first showtime for the day is after 6pm, the Early Bird rate does not apply -- that is why Her is not applicable to this deal this week. If free snacks are your focus, enroll in Cinemark's weekly coupon emails for often free or significantly reduced treats. You can like them on facebook for similar deals.

Beginning with home viewing options, the following is the breakdown of how to see seven of the nine movies nominated for 2014 Best Picture.

  • Captain Phillips is currently at Red Box for a $1.29 one night rental. 
    • If you go to you can select $.50 off a second rental. Or, enroll in receiving text or email messages, you will receive additional discounts, most often for a free second rental the same night. 
  • Nebraska is available on DVD Tuesday, February 25th, at Red Box $1.29
    • OnDemand for $4.99 and Amazon instant video rental for $3.99 on February 25th. 
  • Dallas Buyers Club is on DVD Tuesday, February 4th and will be available OnDemand for $4.99 and on Amazon instant video rental for $3.99
  • Gravity is on DVD right before the Oscars on Tuesday, February 25th
    • OnDemand for $4.99 and Amazon instant video rental for $3.99 on February 25th.
    • No date at Red Box is available for Dallas Buyers Club or Gravity prior to the Oscar ceremony. 
  • 12 Years A Slave (C) $6.50/6.75 any location current week, American Hustle (R/C) $6 current week at 4 Tues locations, Wolf of Wall Street (R/C) $6.50 current week.  
Using the lowest priced options, four of the Best Picture films would be viewed at home for $14.05.
Using the lowest priced showtime options, three of the Best Picture films would be viewed in theaters for $19. Grand total for seven of the nine Best Picture nominees: $33.05.

Home viewing:
All formats are standard DVD format, no Bluray or HD for cost savings. 
Amazon instant view incurs no additional membership costs to rent for existing members or new members that sign up for the free 30 day trial.  
6 of the Best Picture nominees are listed as coming soon to Red Box but with no specific dates, this means that they will be available after Oscar Sunday.

The $6 deals would work for Her and Philomena, just not with the current week's showtimes. It takes a little more planning ahead but you can see a majority of the Oscar nominees, or any first run movies, at great savings.

In other metropolitan areas, AMC Theaters offers their Best Picture Showcase. Over the course of two days you can see all nine nominated films for $60 ($30 for four movies on day one, $40 for five movies on day two if you only attend one day). You also earn a $5 gift card for concessions for each day that you attend. More info can be found here.

I think it is possible to see all nine of the movies nominated for Best Picture for $45, less than even the Showcase, and you can see them over the course of a couple of weeks, versus two days. With a gift card or a free pass, even less.

And how about those mobile devices. James Franco via Google play tells us how the heart, it's "a funny pines, it sinks, it soars...heart racers and heart stoppers...the heart just wants to feel. There are about 2 billion 500 million heart beats in a lifetime. You should feel every one of them." Robin Williams with iPad Air proclaims in Dead Poets Society quotes that we "are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?" Both ads incorporate the imagery of their devices versatility and ability to play music, television, and of course movies. Having these devices is apparently going to lend itself to quite the full and accomplished life, a complete experience of the best emotions, bold achievements and the soundtrack and full media library to score it.
...Much like the Super Bowl, Oscar Sunday debuts some great ads. 

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