The Weekly Moviegoer - Is Movie Hopping Acceptable?

July 29, 2009

AMC Theater

I wonder what my grandmother thought of film piracy. I am suddenly curious because she passed away earlier this month, and I never thought to ask her before she died. The reason it would be interesting to know is she's the one who introduced me to movie hopping - the art of buying one ticket and staying inside the theater to see other movies. Of course, most of us don't think of sneaking into a movie as being equal in offense to pirating a movie. Which is why it would have been neat to know if someone of her generation saw any difference -- not that she was tech savvy enough to download a pirated film, but still.

I've never downloaded a movie, either, though this is more to do with a fear of and unluckiness with viruses than with morals. But I also rarely movie hop or sneak into films, primarily because I don't often have room in my schedule for more than one movie at a time. Yet when I worked in movie theaters, whether as an usher or as a manager, I would always look the other way when someone was clearly stretching their single ticket purchase for a double, triple or even quadruple feature. If I had ever seen a video camera being used to pirate in an auditorium, however, I would have likely called the cops.

Many times it was whole families I'd notice movie hopping together, and that's one of the reasons it was easy to let it slide. How awkward is it to have to scold Mom and Dad in front of the kids? I think about how I learned -- or at least got my first taste -- of hopping from Grandma, and it's funny how something so technically illegal is typically a family tradition. Or, maybe it's just a tradition for cheap families, an attempt to teach the kids about milking something for as much as you can get away with.

Does movie hopping even hurt the movie industry as much as piracy? Obviously it doesn't, because one film pirate can get a film to thousands if not millions of people who might otherwise buy a movie ticket. Sneaking into another movie after paying for one is on a much smaller scale both because there's less people involved in each instance and because the person has at least paid for one movie and probably bought concessions too (likely the refillable giant size concessions that can be replenished between films). Still, movie hopping is a kind of movie theft.

Much of the time the second movie entered is something the person, or family, wouldn't have bothered with anyway. And usually they don't even see the whole film. For my inaugural hop with Grandma, she paid for us to see Death Becomes Her and then we later snuck into Sister Act, which was half over when we walked in. I might not have seen Sister Act otherwise, but if I'd enjoyed the half I saw, maybe I would have gone to see the whole thing later on. Either way, at the time I was just glad to see anything else to make up for how bad Death Becomes Her was.

Maybe movie hopping fulfills some kind of entitlement issue. If the movie we paid for is terrible, we feel deserving of another show. Or, in general, because of how expensive the movies are, we feel deserving of another show. When Grandma was a kid she probably got to see a whole day's worth of movies for a small amount of change, and that certainly had something to do with her reasoning behind being okay with hopping.

I have no interest in sneaking into a movie that's already begun, which is another reason I never really hop anymore. But when I had more free time as a youth, I would plan out my hopping by figuring out running times and accounting for the ad/trailer preshow so that I could exit the first film as it ended and walk into the next auditorium with little wait time until it started. Unfortunately, either showtime scheduling has gotten less accommodating now or I'm getting too tired to do the work. I honestly can't remember the last time I hopped. Once there's more than one good movie playing at the multiplex, though, I just might make the effort, in honor of Grandma.

How about you? When was the last time you hopped?

Find more posts: Discuss, Editorial, Opinions



Movie hopping may be a form of movie theft ONLY if you get caught.....and even then, you just get ushered out. This has been going on for a long, long time now. But really, it isn't all that bad. My biggest concern is the STUPID IDIOTS who text incessantly or answer calls loudly ...OR EVEN TALK TOO DAMN MUCH...These things truly are CRIMINAL in that they ROB us of a true movie going experience. NOTE: If you are inclined to text at a movie...STAY THE HELL AT HOME...... If you are inclined to talk on your cell at a movie.....STAY THE HELL AT HOME....... If you are inclined to just talk period......................STAY THE HELL AT HOME...... ***** If you are inclined to NOT want to get your ass kicked as a result of doing 1, 2, or ALL of the above......................DEFINITELY STAY THE HELL AT HOME...........................

Blue Silver on Jul 29, 2009


When I was younger and not working during the summers I would just go to earliest screeing that day and stay until they closed. I would still spend $30 on food and drinks but I would see every movie I wanted for $8. I do it every now and then and there are still lots of people who do it. Regal theaters are the most anal about it. AMC doesn't really seem to care.

Tyler on Jul 29, 2009


Yeah, why not enforce something that actually pisses of customers and not something we'll never notice unless it's sold out shows which if a person is stupid to try in a sold out show, their problem. I don't even mind kids, you can't control them, babysitting is expensive, and you deserve a night out like everyone and you still have to go home and change diapers throughout the night while only my 2hrs or so was minorly ruin by a crying kid that they were at least responsible enough to take out instead of just letting it keep on. I used to hop all the time in high school, but I knew people that worked at the theater. When we'd see movies, we spent a day sometimes and go see one with legit free tickets and free everything else, but since it was free (cause we were with an employee) we just watched whatever, even crappy movies just to see.

Tra la la la la di da on Jul 29, 2009


I actually plan out my movie hopping experience. A few weeks ago I looked up movie times and made arrangements with my friends. Spent the afternoon watching Night at the Museum 2 then meeting up with them for Angels and Demons and Terminator Salvation. Never the less, all 3 movies couldnt equal the entertainment value of one Iron Man. I got what I paid for. I refuse to pay for a movie I know means very little to me.

Simon on Jul 29, 2009


I just do this when I have a lot of time in my hands, naturally if you're older , this tends to be a much more valuable commodity than the cost of a ticket.

mandarin on Jul 29, 2009


@Blue Silver A -fridgin'-men to that. Is it called a Talkema? No it bloody isn't!! >_<

Digital Metaphor on Jul 29, 2009


I never only see one movie after purchasing one ticket. That would be ridiculous.

Whomever on Jul 29, 2009


My first movie hopping experience was with my parents and older sister, paying for Batman at matinee prices, then seeing Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (complete), and whatever Lethal Weapon movie was in theaters that year (missed the first few minutes). It was one of the better film experiences of my life, considering I enjoyed all three movies to varying degrees. I haven't done it much, but if I do I plan it out to make sure I see both films in their entirety as the original poster mentioned. Also, I usually make sure to pay for a film that needs my financial support from the box office, then sneak into the other film that isn't hurting at the box office. I feel that every once in a while, I need to recoup some losses from all the bad movies I've seen over the years. I don't see the harm in that...

malars on Jul 29, 2009


I remember going to see a movie once when I was a kid and it was so bad we walked out of it and watched something else in return. but we didn't ask anyone if it was ok. we just walked into the other theatre. I also remember as a kid seeing Empire Strikes Back two times in a row. but that time we gladly paid for another ticket because we loved that movie so much. Mind you I think it's ok so long as your supporting your local theatre by buying over priced pop and popcorn. then it's ok because your supporting them by buying that stuff.

jarry on Jul 29, 2009


It's theft, and I've never done, and I never plan on doing it. It's the same thing as someone stealing a pack of gum. Just because it's cheap doesn't mean it's ok. If I worked at a theater and saw a whole family movie hopping, I would definitely confront them. It's stealing, and it's a bad example for the kids. Then those kids will movie hop, and the problem just gets worse.

rorschach90 on Jul 29, 2009


i movie hope weekly and pirate daily. i see nothing wrong with either form, only because i never pirate movies that are currently in theaters.. only DVD rips. There is nothing worse then watching a movie that was recorded by a cam... *shivers* but i end up seeing almost every movie in theater's, and the ones i miss i wait till they hit DVD to pirate.

DoomCanoe on Jul 29, 2009


My first Movie hopping experience was "Atlantis the lost Empire" then "Gladiator" and I pirate but from DVD's...yeah...

Xerxex on Jul 29, 2009


"Much of the time the second movie entered is something the person, or family, wouldn't have bothered with anyway" Well that is the exact line of reasoning that movie downloaders often use. Much of the time the downloaded movie is something the person, or family, wouldn't have bothered with anyway" I really don't see how you can condone one and criticize the other. FWIW, I go to about a 15-20 movies in the theater per year and haven't movie-hopped in ages. I download (illegally) movies from big budget studios that I know I would never pay to see (with Ghost Town & He's Just Not That Into You being the two most recent examples). I do not seed my downloads so I'm not distributing to others (same reason I never shared music on Napster). I'm just taking advantage of a flawed system to see free movies . . . kinda like you and Grandma.

Guybrush Threepwood, mighty pirate on Jul 29, 2009


I movie-hopped earlier this month when I purchased a ticket for "Moon" and sneaked into "Bruno." It was planned before I got to the theater.

Branden on Jul 29, 2009


Sometimes it's just fun to hang out in a theater and have that whole plan thing. Downtown Disney has a HUGE theater so you can easily watch something, o to the center where all the games are and walk to something else later when it starts. I've done it a couple or times and most of my downloads are, crap movies I wouldn't pay for or movies I might consider getting on DVD when they go $5 or the such. With Blu-ray now, I'll what I want with that, but once again, on sale. I'm cheap but I know someone that has access to HD movie downloads so...hm. Still, it's not the same but I don't believe either is bad. It's no different than recording movies off the TV. Legally, I can Tivo anything I want, in HD even, move it to my computer or external HDD and burn it. It's one thing if you're selling copies, but I see nothing wrong with torrents.

Tra la la la la di da on Jul 29, 2009


I have only hopped a few times and it makes me sweat. When I pay for consecutive films up front, the ticket-taker seems surprised. I love movies and the biz, they can have my cash. Hopping is a lot of work. I think theaters, where it's easy, know and don't care.

Linda on Jul 29, 2009


Movie Hopping is wrong, lots of films like Bruno and Hangover lost out on lots of money that way, but kids buying a ticket for Transformers 2 and going into these pictures. Sure the Hangover made lots of money, but it would have made lots more....and thats money it is entitled too. Bruno didn't make much money, but would have easily made 15 million more if it was for theater hopping.

Al on Jul 29, 2009


I movie hop all the time .............With the prices that we our paying I feel we should be free to jump around.....IMO The movies will figure out a way to stop it one day....

SHANEDAV on Jul 29, 2009


dang ol tell you what man thats the theater I go to in that there picture, AMC Clifton Commons 16 in Clifton, NJ, it's a haven for the most unsavory people you'll ever meet

Dr Robotnik on Jul 29, 2009


Great Story Chris im sorry but i cant help thinking how funny it would be if you get caught like if you start a new Moviegoer- Getting Caught! oh and P.S. i Still love movie hopping!! oh and me and my grandma did the same thing first we saw terminator 3, which SUCKED! and then saw 28 days which made up for T3.

Shelby on Jul 29, 2009


Sorry #17 Thats complete utter Bull Shit....................You can't prove that BRUNO of all movies, would have made 15 million more....Bruno First thing....... I hop around to a movie after the 1st movie that I paid for. So I invested on the film of my choice. Harry potter got my money and ice age was a Buy 1 Get 1 free.

SHANEDAV on Jul 29, 2009


oh my bad it was 28 days later not 28 days with sandra bullock oh and Shanedav i doubt the movies will ever do anything to stop it if they havent dont anything by now then that means it really doesnt bother them.

Shelby on Jul 29, 2009


Exactly why I do it..............................Oh and to Add to #17 Hang Over mad -Worldwide: $333,257,162 Production Budget: $35 million BRUNO-Worldwide: $82,302,623 Production Budget-variety article may be a bit off as $42 million was actually what Universal paid for the rights to Bruno and that the budget appears to be only $20-25 million BRUNO made less because it sucks ASS...................

SHANEDAV on Jul 29, 2009


wow 23 you are such a dumb ass, im not saying Bruno didn't make good money because of theater hopping, i'm saying if it hadn't been for theater hopping it would have made more, a good 10 million at least. As for Hangover, that 333 worldwide could probably be a good 400 million worldwide. It shouldn't matter if these films have already made back their budget, the money they are entitled to is the money they are entitled too. Be it $1 dollar or $100 million. A bunch of hollywood projects are being put on hold right now, some cancelled indefinitely, if these studios had the extra million of cash that you assholes steal, maybe we'd get some of these films. How would you punks feel if your paychecks get cut by a few dollars each week because you "suck ass." This film industry is in a decline and its you guys to blame.

Al on Jul 29, 2009


@#16 "I love movies and the biz, they can have my cash." Really? You love the movie biz? The large movie studios couldn't care less about anything but the bottom line. Their goal is to make as much money as possible with no regard for the quality of the product they put out there. You might as well say, "I love Goldman Sachs. They can have my cash." A better idea if you truly love movies is to buy a ticket online for a small independent film. Then go to your local megaplex and movie hop. That way you'll still pay for two movies, but the money will go to the people in the industry who really need it.

Guybrush Threepwood, mighty pirate on Jul 29, 2009


Bruno was one of the worst movies I have seen. I should have left in the middle and watched The Hangover again or something.

Keith on Jul 29, 2009


@#24 (Al) "This film industry is in a decline and its you guys to blame." Seriously? That's a shockingly obtuse statement. I lost interest in "supporting" big studio pictures when they lost interest in anything but making money. Great films will always be made. They might not be available at your 25 theater megaplex in X-burg, but that's because large studios get those spots because they have large contracts with the large corporations that own the theaters. Thus the large ticket prices. It's really too bad that many families cannot afford to go to the movies with their kids anymore, but, yeah, you're right. We're the bad guys. I apologize to the massive conglomerate movie theatres for stealing their $8-12 dollars.

Guybrush Threepwood, mighty pirate on Jul 29, 2009


#24, what proof do you have that Bruno was impacted financially by movie hopping? Where did you get $10 million from? Just pull it out of your butt? Also, I'm sorry, but the studios make plenty of bank and a few people movie hopping doesn't make a dent in that at all. It's the pirating of movies that hurts the studios bottom line! Who's paycheck is getting cut each week? I didn't follow any of your "logic" there...

malars on Jul 29, 2009


Hey back off buddy, the last films I've seen were Moon, Hurt Locker, and Whatever Works. Don't just assume I'm all blockbuster. I go both ways, depending on what i feel is good. Anyway, for those who can't afford movies, its sad and all, but tough shit, stealing is stealing.

Al on Jul 29, 2009


28, A few people? Movie hopping happens all the time, in every theater, in every town. And yeah, Bruno's 10 million was a guess, but an educated guess. I saw at least 20% of my theater full of kids who snuck in, if its a little less in other theaters, and at different show times, thats about 10 million, dipshit.

Al on Jul 29, 2009


When I used to live in Canada when I was growing up there, I movie hopped few times. I actually wanted to do it more but afraid I will get caught. I think movie cinemas should adopt what most cinemas in Asia do: assign seating and have ushers at at each 'house'. I live in Hong Kong. Here, when you buy tickets, you have to pick seats!!! You cannot just walk into any 'house' and sit anywhere. Also, there will be ushers inside the 'house' near the door during the entire movie. They check your tickets to make sure you are in the right one and you sitting where you suppose to sit . They are there to see if anyone is recording the movie as well. I'm not sure if this will apply in North America because there are so much more people in Asia ie more employee at cinema to do the actual ushering. In North America, most cinema have very little staff, users only stand at the main entrance to collect/rip the tickets. No one is staff at each cinema.

Joe C. on Jul 29, 2009


I work at a theater. Movie hopping drives me nuts... You paid for one movie, whether it was overpriced or not. You agreed to pay that amount for one movie. The studios and artists behind the film put a great deal of work into it, whether the end result wasn't that great or it was, and audiences have no right to reap the rewards for free. It's morally wrong, whether you feel "wronged" for the prices or not. If the price is so high, then don't go. Wait untill it comes out and Netflix or Redbox it. I've seen entire families come in, buy $35 worth of concessions, and go to a movie without paying. We only found out because they had to come out and get 3D glasses, and the father threw a fit because we wouldn't give them to him without his ticket stubs (which were non-existent). He then stormed off, pulled the top off the 3D glasses recycling bin and stole about six pairs of glasses to take to his family. In the end, he paid for them on terms of pay or leave... But still. Buying concessions in no way justifies movie hopping or just not paying in general. No, I don't like 3D prices either, but if you don't like it, don't go! If you want to see it in 3D, fork out the money and stop complaining. Or at least don't complain to the theater staff. We have no control over what movies we get. Write to the studios. Then I hear so many people come in and look at me in disbelief when I wont let them in because they don't have a ticket. They promptly ask "I have to buy a ticket?" in utter astonishment. *Facepalm* Yes. Yes you do. It's not free. And most of these people are adults. I've also kicked out my share of teens and teeny-boppers jumping to rated R movies. That annoys me even more. Again, not only is it disrespectful to the film makers and its entire crew, but it feels like a slap in the face to the staff of the theater. Bottom line? It's wrong. Just because it's a little offense doesn't make it okay.

Lacee on Jul 29, 2009


@#29 (AI) "stealing is stealing" I guess I disagree. If something is overpriced or being controlled by a rich few just to pad their bank accounts then I don't have any problem paying what I see fit. I probably pump $200-300 a year into the movie industry. Most of that goes to small studio flicks as well as the occasional huge blockbuster (Star Trek and Harry Potter so far this year). It's wrong to break just rules and laws. It's not inherently wrong to break a rule or law because the movie theater or government tells you its a rule. Big difference there my friend. So no, stealing is not always stealing. And I feel for the theater employees when people are blatantly breaking rules in front of them. That sucks.

Guybrush Threepwood, mighty pirate on Jul 29, 2009


i surprise myself in realizing ive never movie hopped, but id usually hit the late night showing and the place would be closing up when the movie was over but i stream the occasional movie online because i dont have the time to get to the movies and cant stand everyone else having seen it and talking about it

harrison on Jul 29, 2009


I guess I understand where theater hopper are coming from, I don't deny that prices are insane, they really are. I just don't agree with paying how I feel. Mostly because I am an aspiring director, and a lot of the lesser known gang gets paid in percentage of total gross, after a very slim salary. (like waitresses and tips.) I just want to make a living.

Al on Jul 29, 2009


To be honest, I have never movie hopped, though I often planned to do it. Usually even had a schedule but then decided one movie was enough for that day. I have no problems with it and I am actually surprised #32 takes such great displeasure at it. Chillax dude.

Stevo on Jul 29, 2009


Who's the idiot claiming hopping cause the "biz" to lose money? If I didn't hop, I'd never see the movie. I generally only hop for movies that I'd watch on HBO later so instead of waiting, I see it then. They're dinky comedies or something of the sort that I'd rather not waste $20+ (2 tickets and snacks). I would have seen Bruno via hopping but never paid, so it didn't lose any money there. here's the other thing for you know-it-alls. The "biz" doesn't give a shit about theaters. Most have an agreement to roll film whether there's a ticket sold for that showing or not causing the places to run their electricity. Another reason prices go high.

Tra la la la la di da on Jul 29, 2009


#35(Al) i to want to one day be a director. and ya know what... I'm going to promote people movie hopping and pirating my movies and all movies. why? because i want my work to be seen, i want people to go to a movie and have a good time not sit and wonder if it was worth there 10$. if the see it for free, fuck if i care because our job is to entertain the masses not bathe in the cash brought in from there pockets. personally i couldn't give a fuck about the how ever many millions i miss out on. don't be greedy dude that's why people hate all our modern day directors. and sneak into movies man no director is going to bag on you for costing them 10$.

DoomCanoe on Jul 29, 2009


yes our job is to entertain, perhaps you misunderstand. i don't want millions to be greedy, i'm planning on being a some what indie-man. the dream is to produce my own films, so as to be free from studios and producers changing my work. so i need that money, to make other movies, most of it besides what i need to get by, will be reinvested in my films. i don't hate theater hopping to support the studios, its because i hate them, and want filmmakers to be free.

Al on Jul 29, 2009


I hop all the time because i have to pay 16$. Hate me all you want i can care less. OH yeah and I download music & movies. HAHAHAHAHAHA and i refill my drink more then once!!!!!

Sancho on Jul 29, 2009


If I'm paying $10 a ticket I'm going to get my money's worth - rules be damned.

Sam on Jul 29, 2009


now that's completely understandable Al!

DoomCanoe on Jul 29, 2009


I used to work for a theater and i have to tell you we didnt make anything off the ticket sales...what we made tons of money off of was the food sales....so movie hopping was tolerated as long as they keep thier manners and bought food. The only movies that were regulated were the new releases...mostly because the theater was crowded so when someone that didnt pay to see the movie kicked someone that paid that was frowned on, which is why we checked the tickets for those movies, but after the movie was two weeks old we didnt care.

dravas on Jul 29, 2009


I used to movie hop every time I went to the theatres as a kid and teen but now that I'm an adult, I don't have the interest of staying at the theatres for half the day sitting on my ass. If movie theatres want to stop movie hopping, they should do it the arclight way... have reserved seating.

teyhtr on Jul 29, 2009


I've got nothing against movie hoping but how do you know which cinema your jumping to next. Ours have the numbers above the cinema but not the name so unless you have the programming sheet for the day you can't know what movie you're jumping to. Even with the run times our movies switch cinemas so you could jump out of cinema 5 and into cinema 6 and the exact same movie would start. I work in a cinema and sometimes I'd look the other way for a couple of movies as anyone who gets caught hopping in our theatre gets banned for a couple of months. Once though a group of people 'hopped' right into our test screening of Penelope. As there was only staff in there it wasn't exactly subtle. A note to all hoppers make sure the cinema your jumping to is playing a legit movie and not testing one or being used for an event. We've caught lots of people out with that. Also allocated seating only works when there's enough attendants to allocate. This only happens in the sold out or almost sold out sessions and it's not to hard to just slip past them.

twiggs on Jul 29, 2009


Its rare if I do not go to the theater every week, and every single time I movie hop. Only once has someone told me something and that was at AMC. Old lady looked like she was being hounded by corporate members and was looking to bust some balls. Al you need to relax buddy. I am sure that it must be nice paying for everything that you own, like all your $1 Itunes songs, but damn dude, your moral code has to be higher than anyone else's in the world. I commend you and please pray for me because I will continue hop until I cants hope no mo'.

Dee on Jul 29, 2009


@46 I agree with you! im a HOPPER 4 LIFE!!!!!

Sancho on Jul 30, 2009


I movie hop almost every other week. It depends on what's playing and if it's worth it to spend that much time in the theatre. But with AMC now having $6 tickets before noon, I can hop at half price. Last week I saw Moon, Whatever Works, Taking of Pelham 123, and Bruno. And with AMC having 24 screens in one building I've never missed even one minute of a movie. I do this only partly based on how much tickets now cost (around $14). I will continue to hop as long as Hollywood keeps remaking and remaking films and seeing how large a budget can actually get for one of their monstrosities. If I think a film is worth the full admission, I will pay it. I know that when Almodovar's Broken Embraces premieres at TIFF, I will gladly pay the $20 to see it without the remote possibility of even being able to hop into another theatre. Because I know that what he puts into that film will actually be worth every penny.

Adam on Jul 30, 2009


Actually I heard Broken Embraces isn't his best work, you might want to wait for the previously viewed bin at your local video store. Movie hopping is still cool though. Its like paying admission to an amusmeent park and going on all the rides

The movie guy on Jul 30, 2009


I hopped for the first time as a kid with my father. I have been hopping for years and did so almost every weekend when I was in college. I have only slowed recently because I don't have the time or the stamina. I have always been of two minds about it, particularly when hopping into a movie that I would have paid to see on its own. I want to believe that this is payback to the big production houses but I am more likely to see two good big-budget movies than I am to see two mediocre ones. When I was in school and had no money, I could say that I only had the money for one admission, so no one is losing out on getting my second admission price. That is no longer the case and yet I still hop. What it comes down to is that the economics are behind both the hoppers and the theaters because hoppers are among the biggest fans of movies. Hopping gets the fan to see more movies at a lower price and theaters would probably prefer their most regular customers to return and pay for their 1 movie (plus concessions) every week or two instead of hassling them. To be perfectly honest, if the studios were concerned about the problem, they could force the theaters to stop it but they don't appear to do so. Maybe it is because word of mouth is some of the best advertising you can get for a movie. If they believe they have made a movie that is worth seeing, then they will want movie fans to see it and tell their friends about it, even if some portion of those fans didn't pay to see it. So within certain limitations, everyone wins. Maybe what we really need is a code of ethics for hoppers. Perhaps the following: As a hopper, I will: 1. Spend money at the theater in the form of one admission and concessions. They are running a business after all. And one that we do not want to see disappear. 2. Hop in such a way as to not disturb the moviegoing experience of others. This means avoiding hopping into very crowded and sold-out shows and doing any of the obnoxious things that people should never do in theaters anyway (talking, cell phones, etc.) 3. Promote those movies that are worth seeing among peers.

Ben on Jul 30, 2009


To be honest, I dont think the studios care too much about it for the reasons that were stated. However if this becomes a trend and more and more people start doing it, Hollywood will start cracking down on these freeloaders just as strongly as they do the pirates. Since the theater gets very little from the sale of the actual ticket (at least in the first few weeks of release) I dont think most movie theater managers are going to care, since the movie hopper is probably going to be spending more money at the concession stands to hang out there all day. Its an interesting discussion. Technically its theft, but perhaps there is a feeling that the studios make enough money anyway and this wont hurt em and that's why it happens. Im just concerned that all this discussion might make it more difficult for me to movie hop when I go.

Judge on Jul 30, 2009


I know many of you blasted Al #24 for this, but again, the Studios HAVE to make money to fund and distribute all the movies that bomb as well as the ones that are successful... THERE WERE 573 films released in 2008... how many did you go see???? All of you directors pipe-dream folks, remember, you will still need a studio to pick up your craptastic indie film for distribution. And in the RARE off-chance that it MAKES money, that studio/distributing party would have had to put that money up front for your costs, based on the HOPE that others don't feel it is that craptastic. Stop kidding yourselves that the money doesn't matter. I am not saying hopping is bad, but unfortunately it artificially deflates the numbers that saw the film and causes studio/distributing parties to be LESS INTERESTED in distributing and having LESS AVAILABLE FUND for all types of films. You want better films to see in the theatres, you want different directors to have a chance. Stop going to the films you don;t want to see and go down the street to the little art house theatre that is operating on shoestrings and a prayer and help them out.

Dusty on Jul 30, 2009


Interesting article. I've pirated movies for a long time (I know - I'll burn in Hades - oh well), but I've never in my 39 years movie hopped until last weekend when I broke my hopping cherry. Both Moon and The Hangover were playing. Both are about 90 minutes. Spending 30+ minutes on the road for a 90 minute movie seemed silly, so I put my financial support towards Moon (darn good movie) and took the freebie on Hangover (even better movie). My first taste and now I'm hooked! (Your grandma would be so proud.) Hopefully the timing will work out this weekend for Hurt Locker and Public Enemies.

Leroy Skibone on Jul 30, 2009


If i worked at a theater I would take great joy in tossing out you people.

Vold on Jul 30, 2009


What do you mean "you people"...

Adam on Jul 30, 2009



The movie guy on Jul 30, 2009


I've never movie hopped. It does feel like stealing to me. Last month my wife and I mistakenly got to the movie theater an hour before our movie started and she want to just sit in on some other movie while we waited for ours. I completely refused -- a. because I feel like it's wrong, and b. I wouldn't want to sit down in the middle of a movie or have to leave half-way through!

Rob Cameron on Jul 30, 2009


I have hoped maybe 30 or 40 times over my life and as I am 40 that averages about once a year, but I didn't do until I was in my teens, so my twice a year then...My point is I don't do it often, and many times have regretted doing it for a few reasons...Usually it's because the second movie, was 2nd tate and it was a waste of time, but on rare occasions when when both flicks were top notch, the second movie would lessen the first as it was fresher in memory. This was the case in June when i saw Hangover, then slipped into see Up...I really liked them both, but Hangover doesn't stick in my mind as well. So at the end of the day, it would have been more satisfying for me to have seen them a day or two apart...If both movies are equal, I think folks will generally feel the second movie is what they feel better about...something to consider...sometimes its just best to digest one before seeing the next one... As far as being a crime, I say go for it until popcorn and a coke can be purchased under $5!

Kamish on Jul 30, 2009


I made the hop a way of life in the late 80's and early 90's as a teen. It was addictive to say the least. I saw a lot of movies during that time. But, once I was in college, that amount of time I had to see multiple movies was smaller, and my selectness in the movies I wanted to watch increased. Bottom line, it happens and is difficult to stop. Much like the current piracy on the net. And for those who want to make a day of it, here is a cool site to use. http://doublefeaturefinder.com/ Says on the home page to not SNEAK into movies. But, I think that's just there to make them feel better about the service they are providing.

Quenfis on Jul 30, 2009


i agree with number 1...i rarely like to go to the movies because someone always ruins it for me and I work in film! the movie goers these days are ignorant retards. ill sit at home and watch a movie of lesser quality rather than get annoyed at ppl fucking around in the theatre

nocsyn on Jul 30, 2009


If you buy a ticket to something that's been out for 4 or more months or from a smaller studio and buy a lot of food the theater won't get hurt at all by theater hopping. The studios will, but who cares about them.

Bren Gonzo on Jul 30, 2009


ok. let me just say that it's not the same as to bring a camera to the movie. In California it costs $14-18 for one movie(what the hell man!!!) the fat cats of the movie industry don't really feel the sting of us sneeking into movies. we actually watch the movies and we tell other people how good or bad the movie was and even more people go see it. so in a way we are being the advertisers for the movie; because trailers are so amazing, people can't really tell if it's a good movie or if they just put all the good parts in the trailer. The theaters don't really see the money that is being made off of every movie ticket; they're made by the foods(so we're helping them out) there's a place in Upland, CA that you could watch movies for $12 and they don't really care if you sneek in or not. we pay for food and give them more business. I have Mastered the way to movie hop. i first check fandango.com to see what movie is playing that day and for how long. that way you can plan to see more movies. i make a whole day out of it; from 12am to 12pm (only when there's absolutely good movies) you can see expressions on people's faces on how Happy, Sad, Angry, etc they are on seeing the movie. when my mom did it, it brought me closer to her when i was a little kid and when i have kidds i'm going to do the same. Movies are so amazing; you could escape your normal life and imagine that you are that character. You can relate sometimes with them. All i'm saying is that Movie hopping is not wrong and it could actually help you get to know the other people you're watching it with. when i take people with me they enjoy the whole experience; i ask you to try it if you haven't done it yet. It's a verrrrry fun time and i'm not going to stop any time soon. what do you think?

walcron on Jul 30, 2009


Last monday i actually saw Harry Potter (not a fan at all) but it was pretty good compared to all others previous stories, my girl is a fan which means ive seen them all.. anyways after it was done i went for a soda refill and checked out the ugly truth, thats was pretty funny, although i dont always have time to do this, i did actually enjoy it as previous to this hopping experience my last one was like in 92 or 93 and in south America.... Good Times!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MIke A on Jul 30, 2009


If I have the time to see more than one movie in a day I don't see how I could justify myself walking outside to pay for a ticket and walking back in. I'm already in there and I will gladly pay for concessions. I hop from time to time and find nothing wrong with it. I don't make a scene out of it I just go about my business. If I were to get stopped one day I would gladly pay the money if asked. That is if the second or third feature was something I really planned on watching.

DJ P on Jul 30, 2009


I have never hopped in a multi-plex. I'm one of those who believe that's stealing.

Eric on Jul 30, 2009


'Movie Hopping' now that's a 'crime' I havnt thought of in a long, long time, thx for the reminder Christopher Campbell 🙂

David Banner on Jul 31, 2009


Wow, there are a lot more people that movie hopped than I would have predicted, which is weird. You see, I am somebody that does pirate movies, I admit it. But I have never movie hopped before, it seems wrong to me for some reason. There are times when I do go see 2 or even 3 movies in a row at a theater but I always pay for each movie ticket. I absolutely love the theaters. I love the experience of having my soda and popcorn and watching a movie on a big screen 3-4 rows from the front. The theater is still something that excites me every time I go to this day and I think if I would movie hop it would somehow cheapen the experience and it would feel like stealing. You also have to understand that pirating a movie doesn't feel like stealing to me. I watch most movies in theaters, at least the ones that look good. A lot of the movies that I pirate are films that I already saw in the theater or movies that I never would have payed for.

NamelessTed on Aug 1, 2009


I find it really interesting that people so easily stretch their morals to suit themselves. Theft is theft whether it's sneaking in to see another movie or downloading one. If I download a movie how is that different to sneaking in to see a second movie on the one ticket? I know someone in the movie industry who refuses to watch copied movies, considers anyone who'd download a movie scum, but has no qualms about borrowing his acadamy award winning friends screeners to watch. Don't see the difference myself...

Sketch on Aug 1, 2009


We just need monthly passes like they have overseas, problem solved. 20-25 bucks a month is so muh better than 10+ per movie. When it comes down to it like a lot of people have said it doesn't hurt the theaters because the money is in the consessions. But is it technically wrong? Yeah. Do I do it? Yeah sometimes and thank God I did it for Bruno cause if I paid just to see that movie I might have killed myself.

Asand on Aug 17, 2009


try this site to plan out movie hopping schedules TheaterTag - movie hopping for geeks

hal on Oct 5, 2009


Movie hopping is an addiction and I absolutely love it. I've been doing it for the past 8 years. My friend Marcus had introduced me to it. I'll never stop. I did get caught one time back in 2006, but I still do it. I waited a month after I got caught until I went back to the same theater. Movie hopping actually saves me a lot of money. Most of the time I would get to see 4 movies in a day. Sometimes 5, if I'm lucky. Just about 2 weeks ago, I seen 6 movies in a day. That's because I saw a midnight showing of Zombieland. Movie hopping is not such a bad thing. I definitely agree with #62 of everything that person had to say about movie hopping.

Marky Mark on Oct 17, 2009


I hop about 5 times a year. It is when two movies are out that I am on the fence about seeing. Not that this justifies it, but I don't sneak food in. I spend more on concessions than I do for the movie ticket. I asked a couple of friends that used to manage theaters about this. They said they couldn't care less, unless it was for a new blockbuster. In that case, they were concerned the hopper would take up a seat for a feature that is sold out. Since a person spending several hours in the building is more likely to spend more at concessions, which is where the profit (and managers bonus) comes from, my friends wouldn't chase hoppers out.

Happy hopper on Dec 13, 2009


I'm glad I'm not the only one who has done it before. I've done it about 3 times in my entire life (I'm in my 20s now). I think it's sort of okay as long as the movie isn't too crowded or else you'd be denying the person who paid for the ticket a good seat. I would do it for a movie that's been out for awhile and everyone has sort of forgotten because a bunch of newer and more exciting movies have come out since then. It was usually a movie I would not have paid to watch but would have borrowed from the public library once the library acquired it. I don't think I can watch more than 2 movies in a row, though. I movie hopped earlier this month and halfway through the second movie, my butt was tired (and the first movie was only 1.5 hrs long). I think it would be cool though for the theater to have double feature tickets. Like if you buy one movie, you get the second movie 1/3 or 1/2 price as long as the showtimes are within 3.75 hours of each other or something. And i don't download movies except for the hard-to-get foreign movies. I'm not talking abt the artsy, complex foreign films but romantic comedies from other countries, whose DVDs don't play on my DVD player.

AR on Jan 22, 2010


This topic is great. Theater hopping is theft no matter how you look at it. If you want to justify it by saying the prices are too high or they won't miss my $9 then that's fine, but don't act like what you're doing isn't wrong. Admit you're a thief and be done with it. I have a friend that does it very often and I will meet him to watch a movie every once in a while. I pay for the movie and leave while he stays all day. It's not something they will call the cops over usually but they could if they wanted. Some people feel superior for cheating the system, but I rather pay for my ticket and be comfortable than feel any type of anxiety.

Jason on Feb 5, 2010


The movie theater knows you movie hop. That is why they sell the large, refillable concessions, like the popcorn and the drinks. They may do things to try to deter it, like putting those rent-a-cop uniforms on their employees and standing them in front of the entrances of their theaters but never has one of them come up to me. The theater enforces their no entrance without a ticket policy on the big weekend premieres, so the movies that are going to be sold out can almost never be hopped into, so no one gets their seats taken at really popular movies, only movies that are not that popular, or movies that have been out for a while. So instead of wasting money trying to deny hoppers and putting a security robot at every entrance, or sending in the police to check every theater seat by seat, they just sell the extremely expensive jumbo sized popcorn and a liter of coke and let you refill them throughout your movie hopping day. So I guess me and my jolly men will continue stealing from the rich and watching some more, because some of the movies I have seen aren't even worth a three dollar holla, and the one's worth full price, well I usually have to pay full price to see. Besides, if you get scared or anxious by movie hopping, then some of the more suspenseful movies might kill you and you should stay home knitting or waiting for your social security checks

Dee on Feb 7, 2010


PS Saw I cant stop laughing at the people that call this stealing. IF you consider this stealing then I consider it my "marketing fee" when I see the second movie and it is good. I tell my family, friends and co workers. If the second movie is blah, bad or out right horrible ... think of me as a super hero... telling people not to put them in a bad financial situation. ( you could've been one of the people I've warnded.... SO YOUR WELCOME.) Consider me working with the Better Business Bureau for the betterment of public awareness. God helps those who help themselves......... to another movie. Who are you to question GOD ! PS. Social Network was really good .. better than I thought it would be. Hereafter was OK it wouldve, couldve been better but really slow...

Hopping in South Carolina on Oct 22, 2010

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