On Father’s Day, I thought it would be the thing to do to eat hamburgers and see a movie with the kids and wife. There’s one place I like to go for burgers, so that was the easy choice to make. The movie, however, was another matter. So many choices. Which to see? It so happened that two movies that I was interested in seeing were in theaters that weekend. One was a new release, in theaters for only a short time. The other had been in theaters a couple months and had found its way to the second-run discount theaters (which used to be called “dollar theaters”). Which to see?
I thought of “The Richest Man in Babylon“, in which wealthy Arkad speaks about the many things that we won’t be able to do:
“… consider them but a part of that great multitude of desires that must go unsatisfied and regret them not.”
Arkad is making the point that there are an infinite number of things we might like to do, but we will never have the time, the appetite, the stamina, and (not to mention) the money to do them all. We need to make choices. The smart thing to do is find things that are equally enjoyable. Things that provide equal amounts of utility as economists say. Then choose the one that’s least expensive — especially if it’s free.
It’s fun to see the just-premiered movie. But when you think about it, a movie that’s been in theaters for a few months is just as new to you if you haven’t seen it yet. I spend a lot of time watching movies that are new to me but were made before I was born. That recent Father’s Day, it seemed that both movies were likely equally enjoyable. Pay more than $10 per person to see a movie just because it’s new? Not me. Why not see the movie at the discount theater and save over $6 per ticket? And that’s what we did. (And we enjoyed “The Jungle Book” very much. Maybe we’ll see “Finding Dori” when it’s at the second-run theater.)