Bargain reports and analytics

The difference in movie ticket prices around the world

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

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

However, this report by does not focus on how cinema 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.

The expensive accessory

In all countries analysed by Picodi, 3D sessions cost more than 2D sessions, not only in African countries but in the whole world. Some of the cinemas 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 cinema can be even five times higher than the wholesale price.

In some countries, the difference in 2D and 3D movie prices can exceed 30%. For example, in Germany, besides the extra charge of €3 (R 51) for 3D, it is necessary to pay additional €1 (R 17) for glasses. It 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 Italy (31%).

In South Africa, the 3D charge amounts to 24% of the standard ticket price. The least amount of money to pay for watching your favourite actors on the 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 the most expensive are tickets in Japan and the United Kingdom (the price of 2D weekend screening is around $16). On the other hand, the most affordable cinemas can be found in Turkey and Mexico ($4.60 and $3.40 respectively).

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

Movie date on the weekend… or not?

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

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

Are movie tickets on the weekends more expensive?

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The prices come from official websites of cinema chains. In this report, independent cinemas, premiere screenings and every other promotional ticket sales were excluded. The research was based on standard evening screenings of titles available in July 2019 in one of the cinemas in the capital city. For currency conversion, the average exchange for July 2019 was used.

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: