Bargain reports and analytics

The difference in movie ticket prices around the world

PicodiAugust 12, 2019 decided to look into prices of 2D and 3D movie screenings, as well as weekday and weekend sessions, in American, Asian, African and European movie theatres.

Since 1895, when Lumière brothers demonstrated to the world their ‘motion pictures’, the movie theatre has played the role of mass entertainment. During the Great Depression, people used to go to the movies to be distracted from the grim reality. In other, no less turbulent times, movie theatres were used as a device for propaganda and popularizing ideas.

However, this report by does not focus on how movie theatre affects the people but rather the finances. Firstly, we checked the difference in prices between 2D and 3D screenings. Secondly, we compared ticket prices on weekdays and weekends.

Expensive accessory

In all countries analyzed by Picodi, 3D sessions cost more than 2D sessions, not only in America but in the whole world. Many movie theatres move away from handing out the glasses before every movie. In some places, customers can buy glasses or bring their own from the last 3D screening they had watched. By the way, the cost of purchasing such glasses in a movie theatre can be even five times higher than the wholesale price.

In some countries, the difference in 2D and 3D movie prices can reach a significant amount of money. For example, in Germany, besides the extra charge of €3 (C$4.4) for 3D, it is necessary to pay additional €1 (C$1.5) for glasses. This means that watching a movie in 3D becomes 45% more expensive than a standard session.

We noted a similar high charge for 3D screenings in Bolivia (50%), Portugal (38%), and Italy (31%).

In Canada, the 3D charge amounts to 26% of the standard ticket price. The least amount of money to pay for watching your favourite actors on a 3D screen was noted in Saudi Arabia and India (6% and 7% respectively).

When it comes to the prices of standard movie tickets, after converting local currencies into dollars it turns out that movie theatre tickets are the most expensive in Japan and the United Kingdom (the prices of 2D weekend screening being $16.70 and $15.60 respectively). On the other hand, the most affordable movie theatres can be found in Mexico and Venezuela (€3.40 and €3.00).

What is the difference in 3D and 2D movie ticket prices in various countries?

Movie date on the weekend… or not?

In the film industry, the popularity of different movies is measured mostly by turnout and box office on opening weekends. Data from different movie theatres in North America and around the world confirm that most people go to the movies during the weekends — in these three days, 55%-65% of all tickets are sold.

In Canada, movie lovers have nothing to worry about — there is no additional charge for weekend screenings. In most of the analyzed countries, the price stays the same on weekdays and weekends. However, some places — like Indonesia — charge even 50% more for weekend sessions.

Are the movie tickets more expensive on the weekend?

Cinema statistics

  • Throughout the year, the largest number of customers goes to the movies in December. There are two turnout peaks: one at the end of the fourth quarter (releases of popular titles during Christmas time) and February-March (Valentine’s Day and the Oscars);
  • For cinema employees, Saturday is the busiest day of the week; 65% of all tickets are sold on the weekends;
  • In the last few years, the days with the biggest turnout have been Valentine’s Day (14th February) and weekends before or after this holiday;


The prices are taken from official websites of cinema chains. In this report, independent movie theatres, premiere screenings, and every other promotional ticket sales are excluded. The research is based on standard evening screenings of titles available in July 2019 in one of the movie theatres in a capital city. Currency conversion is determined by the average exchange rate for July 2019. The remaining statistics are based on data from several North American and European cinemas.

Public Use

All the data and infographics presented in this report can be freely used for both commercial and non-commercial purposes as long as you indicate the author of the research ( with a link to this subpage. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us: