By The Numbers

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Movie Tickets

Tobin Low Feb 12, 2016

Looking forward to Valentine’s Day? No? Alright, well then let’s just get through Friday. Here are some need-to-know numbers to end your day.


Speaking of Valentine’s Day, it may be just the thing for the consumer economy. Or rather, Valentine’s Day retail sales may be just the thing. Numbers on retail sales for January and consumer sentiment for February were released Friday. Even with the economy slowing, these numbers have stayed relatively steady, partly due to low inflation. And this weekend, as consumers no doubt rush to buy last minute roses and candy, consider this: jewelry prices were down 1.1 percent in 2015. That’s because prices for precious metals, including diamonds, have fallen.

If romance isn’t your thing, maybe it’s basketball. The NBA heads north of the border on Sunday for its first ever all-star game not held on U.S. soil. And some sports economists aren’t so much asking “why?” as “why not?” The game is a good chance for the league to advertise to a new market in Canada, and rap star Drake will be on hand, as he serves as ambassador for the Toronto Raptors. Regardless, San Franciscans are likely to be excited — the game marks the first time in 40 years the Golden State Warriors have had three players selected.

But if you’re skipping all that and heading to the movies, here’s a question to ask yourself: why can’t movie theaters sell empty seats at a reduced price much like airlines? Marketplace reporter Adriene Hill had that exact thought as she enjoyed a nearly empty showing of “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.” As it turns out, its not so simple, especially considering that film companies hold a lot of control. It’s not like they aren’t trying, though. Some of the biggest studios have invested $50 million into an app that, among other things, will experiment with discounted tickets.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.