Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Swedish Movie Experience

Went to a movie the other night in Stockholm. Juno*. Pretty good actually. It was the first movie I had gone to here in Sweden in quite a while. And I love it. Movies in Sweden are much more of an event.

Tickets are purchased just like any other movie theater. But in front of the ticket booth is a screen showing just how many tickets are still available. Causes a bit of panic an excitement as you watch the movie you want to see slowly sell out. It also gives you the opportunity to select a plan B. We had a Plan A, B, and C. And settled on Plan B.

Not only does the screen tell you just how many tickets are left, it also shows the price. And in this country that abhors Capitalism (that’s Capitalism with a big “C”), the law of supply and demand rules. Each movie is priced differently. From what I can gather it is based solely on the number of seats available in the theater in which the movie is showing. And the popularity of the movie. Supply and demand. Very interesting actually. So the less popular movies that have a shit load of seats cost less than the popular movies showing in a smaller theater. Juno cost us a solid 85 crowns but only offered about 75 seats. Sweeney Todd would have cost 65 crowns but offered well over 150 seats.

After a quick economics lesson the tickets were purchased. And you receive a specific seat number. None of this first come, first served free seating nonsense. You have a seat that you are expected to sit in. Much like the Super Bowl. I love it. Makes it seem much more fancy. Like an experience. Which is really what I’m looking for. A fancy experience. So I go see movies about high school kids getting pregnant and arranging private adoptions. Fancy experiences indeed.

*Juno managed to win some sort of Oscar after I wrote this. Clearly, this is a sign that I have impeccable taste in films.


  1. Yeah, I love cinmeas like that. Too bad many of the older, bigger and nicer cinemas are closing all over Sweden.

  2. I've heard that too. Any idea as to why?

  3. The internet and illegal downloading. And maybe home cinemas. You can download a movie and watch it at home on a cinema screen so why pay 85 kronor to see one? I still go tough to support the art. :P

  4. Ah, then you would love the cinemas we have here..especially the ones called Gold Class (, extremelly luxurious.

  5. bummer... movies are better on a big screen than on the computer.

    @ ooohhh... fancy. and with a name like that it's gotta be good.

  6. yeah it won best original screenplay...because the writing was facking mind-blowingly amazing.

  7. A guy from my native island of Öland won an oscar! I even half knew his wife ! Not sure why I'm writing it here but montastic seemed to eb talking about the oscars and you guys seem to be talking about movies ... Anyway cool huh?

  8. juno was a great movie!! Loved it!!only cost me $5.50 here to see it matinee price!! (although no special seating!)
    you should check out Sweeney Todd if you get a chance, that one was good too!

  9. @montastic - it was good. maybe not facking mind-blowingly amazing though

    @anonymous - very cool. and your comment definitely fit in. swedish movie trivia if you will.

    @anonymous - 5.50 is much better than 85 SEK. good work. I think I got spoiled in college with the 1.50 theater. or the 50 cents on monday with a group of three. oh well. Im definitely going to have to check out Sweeney Todd. Its intriguing for some reason.

  10. Hi! I felt compelled to comment since I used to work at the cinema.

    Older cinemas keep closing because they usually have a single screen, which is not profitable with the limited repetoire and relatively high rents (as was the case with Röda Kvarn on Biblioteksgatan). It is a shame, and I urge people to visit Skandia on Drottninggatan (even block buster premieres don't sell out there because people don't know it exists) and Park on Sturegatan (close to shutting down).

    As for the ticket prices, they are entirely based upon the length of the movie (and, less frequently, on estimated sales) after negotiations with the distributor. They don't fluctuate with neither the number of seats or the popularity. Once the movie premiers, the price doesn't change. A 90 min feature is almost always 85 kr and over 120mins >90 kr

    Nice blog, always fun to read a foreigners view. Keep it up.

  11. @denisukun - good work on coming through with some movie theater information. I had no idea about that stuff. very cool. and next time Ill check out one of the theaters you mention.