Why You Should Skip the Cinema

Besides Netflix, you’ve got plenty of ways to view films at home.


With movie prices averaging $7.89 a ticket, according to the Motion Picture Association of America, savvy cinema buffs are turning to less expensive ways to enjoy films on their television, computer, or phone.

You can pay a per-movie fee to check out films on DVD at thousands of Redbox (for $1 a day), Blockbuster Express ($1 to $3 a day), or DVDXpress rental kiosks ($1) at supermarkets, convenience stores, retailers, and some restaurants nationwide. If you rent by mail through Blockbuster Total Access or Netflix, you can order as many movies as you want, one at a time, for less than $10 a month.

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Netflix subscribers can also instantly stream movies onto their computers, mobile devices, or video game consoles for an additional $8 each month. In fact, an increasing number of sites are providing cinephiles with large catalogues from which to rent films for download, including Apple's iTunes ($3 to $5 per movie), Microsoft's Zune Marketplace ($3 to $6), and Amazon Instant Video ($3 to $4).

Other online options include Hulu, which allows you to stream hundreds of free movies and has additional content available for $8 a month; Walmart's VUDU service (typically $2 to $6 rentals); and SundanceNow, which specializes in renting independent films ($4 to $7 each).