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The Cost (In Time and Money) To See Every Oscar-Nominated Movie


The nominations for the 85th annual Academy Awards , so if you haven't seen this year's contenders, you'd better get on it. You'd also better drain your bank account and free up your schedule, because it's going to take some serious time and money to watch every film on the list.

We took a moment to calculate how much it would've cost, in both time and money, to see all of the Oscar-nominated films when they were first released in theaters. We factored in ticket prices, run times, concession prices, preview lengths — even the amount of calories ingested from a bag of buttered popcorn — to determine how much the average moviegoer would need to spend to keep up with the Academy.

Here's what we found:


There are a total of 38 feature-length films nominated for this year's Academy Awards, including foreign pictures, documentaries and animated films.* Ticket prices vary depending on location, but if the theater charges $14 per ticket, the cost of viewing all 38 films becomes $532; if it's $13 per ticket, the total is $494; and at $12 per ticket, it's $456. Those who opted for a 3-D screening of an Oscar-nominated film ("Life of Pi," "The Avengers," a few of the animated features) would tack on an additional surcharge of $3 or $4 per 3-D film. 

Many attendees also bring dates or children. It's easy enough to calculate how much a date's ticket to each film would cost (multiply by two) but the average child's ticket costs around 75 percent that of an adult's. Therefore, taking a date along to all 38 films costs between $912 and $1064 (for a couple) and bringing along a child will tack on $342 to $399. So, if, a couple and their child were to watch every Oscar-nominated film in the theater, the total ticket cost would range from $1254 to $1463. (Senior tickets are usually comparable in price to children's tickets, so the average senior would need to pay around $342 to $399, per person, to view the films.) 

*Short-form documentary, animated and live action films were excluded from this list, as data concerning screenings, run times and ticket prices was limited.


What's a movie without popcorn? A large order at two of the nation's largest cinema chains, Regal and AMC, will set you back $8. Large sodas at both locations are priced at $5.75. Ordering both will total $13.75 at each screening, or $522.50 at all 38. Some locations may offer special combo deals, whereby a large popcorn and large soda, ordered together, will cost less. For instance, one theater's combo deal only charges $12 instead of $13.75 for both a large popcorn and soda, which only totals $456.

Ordering a large soda and large popcorn (at full price) at each of the 38 movies brings the total cost of the movie-going experience, along with tickets, to between $978.50 and $1,054.50.


A 2009 study conducted by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) concluded that a large order of movie-theater popcorn at the nation's biggest chain, Regal Cinemas, contains 1,200 calories — and that's before the buttery topping (130 calories per tablespoon). The same study also found that AMC's large popcorn contains 1,030 calories (it's also a slightly smaller serving than Regal's) and Cinemark's contains 910. Going by these figures, a large movie-theater popcorn contains 1046.66 calories on average. If a moviegoer were to consume a large popcorn at each of the 38 Oscar-nominated films, he or she would be ingesting around 39,773 calories.

Obviously, washing down a large popcorn with a large soda will tack on even more calories. The CSPI found that a large non-diet soda from Regal Cinemas contained 500 calories. Consuming one of those at each film screening will add 19,000 extra empty calories.


Based solely on the length of the 38 feature films* nominated for an Oscar at the 85th annual Academy Awards, a moviegoer would spend 4,447 minutes, or 74 hours and 7 minutes, in front of the screen. That doesn't factor in the twenty-or-so minutes of previews shown before most theatrical releases.

The average length of this year's feature films is just over 117 minutes (117.026), with the longest being "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" (169 minutes) and the shortest being the documentary "Chasing Ice" (80 minutes).

*Data gathered from