How much would you pay to see a movie? Ten bucks? Fifteen? Wait for it to hit Redbox and $1.75?
How ‘bout $10,000?
That’s how much opening-weekend tickets for Avengers: Endgame are going for on eBay in some places, according to Fandango.com. And while that might seem a bit overpriced, get this: Someone spent $15,000 for a pair of Endgame tickets in New Jersey. It makes me wonder … is the buyer worried the movie will substantially change by, say, the following weekend?
If a five-figure price tag feels a little steep for your moviegoing pleasure, you can always sign up for Red Carpet Home Cinema, which will allow you to watch first-run movies in your very own home for a mere four figures. Yes, that’s right: You can watch the likes of Shazam! or Pet Sematary in your very own bunny slippers for, say, $1,500-3,000. (Sorry, Endgame’s not an option: Disney, along with Universal and Sony Pictures, isn’t playing ball with the service. You’ll have to spend $10,000 like everyone else.)
Sure, that might seem like a lot of money. But some parents might’ve gladly paid that kind of cash to prevent the future nightmares their children will likely experience due to an unfortunate mistake at a British theater. Apparently, trailers for the upcoming horror movies Ma and Brightburn were shown before the kid-friendly animated movie, Peppa Pig: Festival of Fun. Kids were pretty traumatized. “You go to the movies and you expect it to be a safe family day out, you don’t expect her to be exposed to anything which could do harm,” said BBC journalist Charlie Jones, who took his daughter to the movie.
But children are exposed to a great many harmful things today, sometimes despite their parents’ best efforts. We’ve talked often about how social media can hurt kids’ and teens’ self-esteem (turns out, it may be having an influence on NBA players, too), and some countries are actually trying to ban “weaponized” forms of online communication. And this weekend, a movie called After is rolling into theaters—a film that some are characterizing as “Fifty Shades of Gray for teens.” Think getting kids involved into good, old-fashioned sports might be an anecdote? Some doctors are growing evermore concerned with tackling in youth football. Other experts are wondering how much homework is too much for kids.
There’s no question that children and teens today are dealing with a great many issues that their parents and grandparents never experienced. And some youth, it seems, are struggling to handle them. Suicidal behavior among children, including suicide attempts, has skyrocketed in recent years—so much so that emergency rooms saw 1.1 million visits from suicidal youth (between the ages of 5 and 18) in 2015. That’s nearly double the number of visits ERs saw just eight years earlier.
“This has to be addressed as a public health problem,” says Dr. Jefry Biehler, chair of pediatrics at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami. “This is not normal behavior. This is not a phase. This is a real risk.”
Mom Ngocanh Le knows all about the risk. She watched as her 11-year-old son, Minh Viet, grew ever more depressed and addicted to violent video games. “I cried, I want to commit suicide,” he said. All his mother felt she could do was pray. But help came through a surprising channel—literally, the Christian Broadcasting Network. Seems the network’s Superbook show, which uses animation to bring the Bible to life, caught the 11-year-old’s attention.
“He has shifted from video games to Superbook,” his mother says. “He understands more about the Bible. And sometimes, he says to me he feels he’s very sinful, but God has saved him. He was touched by God.”
But mental health issues aren’t just a growing risk for kids, it seems. Some high-powered celebrities are trying to address the issue. In fact, Oprah and Prince Harry are teaming up to make their own documentary series about the issuefor Apple’s new streaming service. (Perhaps Harry and wife Meghan Markle can promote the show through their record-breaking Instagram account.)
It’ll be a while before Apple’s new service will even be online, of course. Not that any TV addict would pay attention now anyway, of course, given that HBO’s Game of Thrones will be debuting its final season (technically, a half season) this weekend. Many a television writer is bidding farewell to the show, with the Los Angeles Times speculating about the future of telegenic fantasy world. Meanwhile, the show’s creators—well aware that widely praised TV shows like The Sopranos and Lost, um, lost some of their luster with controversial endings—are wringing their hands over their own. “A good story isn’t a good story if you have a bad ending,” showrunner David Benioff told Entertainment Weekly. “Of course we worry.”
Meanwhile, some fans of the show are mainly worried about brushing up on their High Valyrian. A New York Shake Shack will sell you a Dracarys Burger and Dragonglass Shake, but only if you use the Thrones-based fictional language to order them.
Yes, the world is changing rapidly. Seems we can only rely on three constants these days: death, taxes … and Turner Classic Movies, the format of which has remained substantially unchanged for the last 25 years. “Almost everything in cable television and film has changed since Ted Turner launched the network in 1994,” writes Jake Coyle for the Associated Press. “But through endless technological upheavals, four U.S. presidents and three Spider-Men, Turner Classic humbly, persistently, improbably abides.”
Sure, it costs a bit to watch it—the price of a basic cable subscription. Still, it’s apparently cheaper than Avengers: Endgame tickets.