Games vs. Movies. Which has more bang for the buck?

So it’s Friday and you just got off of work or school, and your friends call you up to see if you want to go to watch a movie tonight. You agree because you don’t have any other big plans so you meet up with your pals a few hours later.

Depending on your tastes you’ll go watch the action-packed sometimes over the top Rambo. Or instead you might go see a Oscar nominated movie such as There Will Be Blood to quench that urge to finally see a brilliant piece of modern moviemaking. No matter which movie you choose to go to, you’ll end up paying between $9 and $10 per ticket in most places. With the average movie being about one hour and forty five minutes, you are spending about $5.15 with the average ticket price being $9.50.

movie posters

But that can’t be all–you’ll most likely spend another $5 to $10 dollars on a drink, some popcorn, candy or a combination of all three. (Not to mention possible parking fees too.) So now you are spending about $9.71 an hour. The point I’m trying to get to is that going out to watch a movie becomes an expensive endeavor. So is it that big of a surprise that video games are getting a leg up on movies as the prefered choice of entertainment?

consession stand

Let’s look at the value of a video game in today’s market. We’ll take the standard $60 price–give or take a few bucks, for a brand new video game. Let’s add about 10 hours of gameplay to the game–an average that it takes gamers to complete a title without going back for extra content. That’s an hourly rate of $6 an hour of gaming goodness. That’s a pretty good deal especially if you’re playing it on an HDTV or with a kickass graphics card that you just installed in your PC. Hell, you can even bring along your friends to play with you too! Better for them because they are getting this sweet deal for free! But what about those games that gamers spend hours and hours upon?


It took me 80 hours to beat Final Fantasy XII. Take the $55 I had to pay the day it came out (yeah I was in line) and divide that by 80 hours. The outcome is .69 cents per hour of epic entertainment. My friend must’ve played well over 300 hours of Super Smash Bros Melee, and my cousin over 30 hours with Mass Effect.

How about MMOs? Not only does the developer make tons of money, but the majority of gamers essentially save more money playing MMOs than if they bought a new non-MMO game every other week.

Now by no means am I to suggest that movies be extended to 30 plus hours of content (that’s what 24 and Lost are for), but I just wanted to make clear the value of movies as compared to that of video games. More and more people are being introduced into the high definition experience and interactive controls in gaming–it’s becoming hard to resist the Siren’s call.


The movie industry is declining due to high ticket and concession prices, poor content and bootlegs popping all over the internet, but in saying this, movies will never vanish. Since the popularity of films started in the late 1800’s, it has become a medium of escapism from reality. However, through the increased development of technology and production value, video games are now offering a satisfying alternative to movies for everyone of every age and background.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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