How far ahead do you book cinema tickets?

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  • MikeP 31 Mar 2008 12:46:18 2,079 posts
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    Hello one and all.

    I'm trying to dig up some info on how far ahead people book cinema tickets and so far I'm struggling to find out anything useful - so I thought I'd post in the hope I might get some sensible(ish) answers from you lot.

    Would you mind just quickly replying and letting me know if you tend to book less than a week ahead, less than two weeks ahead or up to a month in advance?

    Thanks very much.

    PSN ID: Mikenetic

  • twelveways 31 Mar 2008 12:47:13 4,199 posts
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    on the day.
  • HoraceGoesSquiffy 31 Mar 2008 12:49:02 1,563 posts
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    I don't book ahead at all unless it's on or near a hyped film's release. Then probably only a day or two before.

    /lives a crazy life on the edge
  • MrSensible 31 Mar 2008 12:49:08 25,392 posts
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    I don't book, I just turn up and buy them ten minutes before the film. They're never sold out and they let you sit where you want.
  • twelveways 31 Mar 2008 12:50:05 4,199 posts
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    I only book because I can get a student discount, without actually being a student :)
  • Whizzo 31 Mar 2008 12:51:04 43,370 posts
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    Couple of days in advance if it's something that's likely to be busy, not more than that usually.

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  • StringBeanJean 31 Mar 2008 12:52:16 1,787 posts
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    On the day, or maybe the day before.
  • Load_2.0 31 Mar 2008 12:52:54 19,677 posts
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    Show up, buy tickets.
  • Merlinho 31 Mar 2008 12:53:02 5,908 posts
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    I'll normally turn up 10 minutes before unless it's a big first weekend release, then I'll pop up a few hours before to the cinema to make sure I get tickets (cinema is only a mile from my house).

    I suppose I could book online with Odeon but I've never tried!

    Edit: re the OP options, surely no one books more than a week in advance...I only decide to go to the cinema a max of a couple of days before hand!
  • delbert 31 Mar 2008 12:53:06 2,893 posts
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    Also rarely ever book unless its a very hyped film and I'm going on the day of release.. the few occasions I have its been as soon as they have become available..
  • Hunam 31 Mar 2008 12:53:24 20,674 posts
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    Never generally. Just waltz up and pay at the time of going, i never see premieres generally.
  • askew 31 Mar 2008 12:56:30 12,731 posts
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    Buy the tickets on the day.
  • daithi90 31 Mar 2008 12:57:20 3,283 posts
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    Only time I've ever booked tickets was to see LoTR: RoTK.
  • gang_of_bitches 31 Mar 2008 12:58:13 5,644 posts
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    Like everyone else really. I try and avoid films in the first couple of weeks of release, much prefer a nice quiet cinema.
  • Razz 31 Mar 2008 12:58:24 61,662 posts
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    Depends. If I'm coerced into seeing some typical American drivel in the crappy chain cinemas, i.e. Odeon, vue etc... then I usually just turn up and buy tickets. Otherwise I usually book a few weeks in advance for the British Film Instite on the Southbank or if there's a good hollywood film out soon I'll book at the Electric cinema on Portobello road months in advance.

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  • MrSensible 31 Mar 2008 13:00:52 25,392 posts
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    Even if I go on the first three days of release I never have to book.

    I haven't had to book tickets for the cinema since I was a a young(er) 'un.
  • Popzeus 31 Mar 2008 13:05:06 8,427 posts
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    You can pretty much always get in on the day, so there really is no point.

    Currently playing: Standing In A Car Park Simulator 2013

  • jellyhead 31 Mar 2008 13:06:46 24,350 posts
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    I usually turn up on the day and get a ticket and there's not been much released lately that has even made me consider booking a ticket in advance unfortunately. I might do the Orange free ticket deal but again that'll be done in the morning of the day i want to go.

    If it was a special showing at an art theatre or other small/specific venue then i'd probably try to book tickets a few weeks in advance but for general releases? Nah, if i miss them i'll just watch them on dvd in a few months. No rush, It's only a film.

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  • ecu 31 Mar 2008 13:22:47 77,338 posts
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    Load "$" wrote:
    Show up, buy tickets.

    This.

    Hasn't failed me yet.
  • The_Aardvark 31 Mar 2008 13:29:02 3,063 posts
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    Almost never. Though recently my local Odeon has had massive queues at peak times so occasionally I'll book online an hour or two before-hand.
  • BornOnMars 31 Mar 2008 14:08:19 15 posts
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    Usually just an hour or so before to beat horrendous queues on Friday or Saturday nights.

    Only time I've ever booked well in advance was for The Matrix and Star Wars Episode III when it was about 2 days before they were released.
  • DaisyD 31 Mar 2008 14:11:02 11,826 posts
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    Don't tend to book, unless it's the imax or somewhere special (like the rex in berkhamsted).
  • Deleted user 31 March 2008 14:11:42
    So it's a survey you're doing?

    If it's something new/popular that's been open less than a couple of weeks and I want to go on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday I might book the day before, or even the same day to save the hassle of having to queue or find out it's sold out.

    Having said that, I've not been to a film that's been sold out or had the cinema packed in years and years, so it's kind of pointless and cost me more in booking fees to save me the (unnecessary) worry.

    I'd definitely book for the first weekend of something really popular like Indy.
  • nickthegun 31 Mar 2008 14:17:18 61,348 posts
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    Never. Because the phrase 'booking fee' makes me want to smash things.

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    My man gives real loving that's why I call him Killer
    He's not a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am, he's a thriller

  • Shinji 31 Mar 2008 14:21:18 5,903 posts
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    I just waltz in and buy tickets on the day. If it's something popular, I'll possibly go to the cinema and buy tickets a couple of hours before the screening, then go out for dinner. Never had a problem getting into showings at either my nice local independent-ish place (the Picturehouse in Clapham) or my big corporate multiplex (Cineworld, Wandsworth) with this approach.
  • nickthegun 31 Mar 2008 14:26:08 61,348 posts
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    Actually, yeah, thats a good point.

    I usually turn up a few hours in advance, buy the tickets then go for a meal.

    I was still chewing on half a rack of ribs when we went to see hot fuzz, thanks to the crappy service in a franky and bennys.

    ---------------------------------------------------------
    My man gives real loving that's why I call him Killer
    He's not a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am, he's a thriller

  • Salaman 31 Mar 2008 14:30:15 19,626 posts
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    I almost never buy ahead. If I do it's less than a week.
  • cubbymoore 31 Mar 2008 14:38:36 36,507 posts
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    Unlimited card means you can't book ahead. Never seen a screen sold out before though.
  • motti82 31 Mar 2008 14:40:22 2,925 posts
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    nickthegun wrote:
    Actually, yeah, thats a good point.

    I usually turn up a few hours in advance, buy the tickets then go for a meal.

    I was still chewing on half a rack of ribs when we went to see hot fuzz, thanks to the crappy service in a franky and bennys.

    mmmmm Ribs from F and B's.

    I used to work at the cinema on Box office, only the mega films that used to sell out religiously where pre-booked, they were the Potters *spits*, LotR trilogy etc etc.

    Booking fees are a pain from the website, so most people arrive early, book tickets with their card so there's no booking fee, go for summat to eat nearby (must be a law that restaurants and fast food chains are built next to cinemas on retail parks) and then come back later on.

    I tend to find that most people get the tickets early in their hand and walk straight in past all the queues.
  • MikeP 31 Mar 2008 14:41:47 2,079 posts
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    MrED209 wrote:
    So it's a survey you're doing?

    If it's something new/popular that's been open less than a couple of weeks and I want to go on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday I might book the day before, or even the same day to save the hassle of having to queue or find out it's sold out.

    Having said that, I've not been to a film that's been sold out or had the cinema packed in years and years, so it's kind of pointless and cost me more in booking fees to save me the (unnecessary) worry.

    I'd definitely book for the first weekend of something really popular like Indy.

    Thanks very much everyone for the responses so far.

    ED, to your question I'm working on a project and one of the things I'm trying to establish is how far ahead we might need cinema listings data to stretch. My hunch was not that far, unless it's a special occasion, which seems to be supported by everyone's answers here.


    PSN ID: Mikenetic

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