Pay What You Want To See Freakonomics Movie

If you live in NYC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Chicago, Boston, Dallas, Philadelphia, Denver, and Seattle, the people behind the film adaptation of best-selling book Freakonomics are offering you the chance to attend a pay-what-you-want screening of the movie on Sept. 22.

All you have to do to take part in this experiment is answer a few survey questions and pay anywhere from $.01 to $100 to see the film. After that, you’ll be directed to a page where you can buy the tickets — no service charge — online.

Pay what you want to see Freakonomics: The Movie []


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  1. raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

    Oh man, that book was awesome. I did not know they were making a movie; I wonder if it will hit Netflix in the near future…

  2. winnabago says:

    Of course, it’s only one screening, so no real risk for the filmmakers or theaters, a la Radiohead a few years back. Why not put your theories to the test, guys?

    • DanRydell says:

      I don’t think they create theories without first analyzing the data. If their intention is to formulate some theory about something, then it’s likely that they expect to collect enough data to do so. Why would they risk losing more money than they need to?

      I don’t think this questionnaire is really a valid way to collect useful data, because anyone who is interested in the movie would assume the data is being used to form some theory, and that would influence people’s responses. But perhaps that’s the intention – to compare the results of this survey to one in which people don’t know that it has something to do with freakonomics and see how they differ. But now that I’ve made you aware of that possibility, that will influence your response.

      But perhaps the authors anticipated THAT. Maybe the true purpose of this survey is to see how people will respond when they THINK they are being compared to people who aren’t aware that they are part of some social experiment.

      Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line!

      • j_rose says:

        The questions are just about your age, sex, education and income… How will people’s answers be influenced? I guess if they lie, but they might lie either way.

        • DanRydell says:

          Most of the questions are intended to categorize people, but then there’s that first question – “How much will you pay for your ticket to this premiere screening?”

  3. Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

    How many people will put $100 by mistake thinking they typed $.01

    • humphrmi says:

      There are separate lines for each dollar increment, starting at $.01 and going up to $100, with drop-downs for the number of tickets you want at each price.

    • UlimaLibizzle says:

      Only a Verizon employee would make that sort of mistake…

  4. jayde_drag0n says:

    I wish they would put a “why are you paying this amount” in there, that way when i’m paying only a penny i can tell them its because i have no income and i’m already having to scrape to afford the drive to los angeles (I live in bakersfield)

    • humphrmi says:

      I would have thought that they assumed that everyone who paid a penny is economically savvy, and everyone who paid more needs increasing levels of economic education, and would use that information on any late edits of the film. :-)

      And no, I’m not being mean, most screenings are free anyway. The real kicker here is not the “name your price” but that the screening is open to the general public. Usually they are free, invite-only events.

      • RandomHookup says:

        You get some interesting behaviors at preview screenings. Some people will come 2 hours early to wait in line (pretty much assured they will get in) for a movie that will cost them $8 in a few days or as little as $4-5 in few weeks (or $1 if they wait around until it hits Redbox). I’ve seen people wait in line for so-so blockbusters when they could walk a few blocks over to see a much better (but older/foreign/documentary/alternative) film at a local college for free, without the wait time and without having to obtain a pass or having the chance of being denied a seat for capacity or some other reason.

    • banmojo says:

      I’ll let you carpool with me ;^)

  5. dolemite says:

    $100? So they are actually selling tickets for cheaper than usual?

  6. Hoss says:

    The better economics test would be to pay after the film.

  7. Hoss says:

    Or better yet, how bout paying at intermission where the bottom 10% payers need to leave.

  8. Cameraman says:

    I would pay… seven dollars.

    Why $7? I don’t know, but that always struck me as a fair price to see a movie.

    Or, to put it another way, if you would show me a movie and afterward asked me to pay what I thought was a fair price based on the entertainment value of the movie, I would pay an average of about $7, with some notable exceptions. For example (based on some of the movies I’ve seen on Netflix this month):

    Saving Private Ryan: $25
    The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard: $2.50
    Zombieland: $10
    Beaufort: $5
    The Band’s Visit: $7
    Shaun of the Dead: $7.50
    Waltz With Bashir: $7
    Get Smart (2008): $7
    17 Again: $1
    Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year: $5.50
    James’ Journey to Jerusalem: $7
    Evan Almighty: $1
    Lost in Translation: $3

    I figure they’ve got to be paid something, but if I could pay based on what I think the movie is worth, well…..

    • j_rose says:

      I paid $8 each for me and my boyfriend’s tickets. I asked him later what he’d have paid, and he offered $15 each. He said he wanted to even it out for the people who would pay $0.01.

  9. HappyPig says:

    I was a bit turned off by the $9.99 rental price on iTunes (okay, TOTALLY turned off), so I waited a few days, and as I expected, a torrent link eventually turned up.

  10. HappyPig says:

    I was a bit turned off by the $9.99 rental price on iTunes (okay, TOTALLY turned off), so I waited a few days, and as I expected, a torrent link eventually turned up.

  11. El_Fez says:

    Can I pay AFTER the movie? That seems more reasonable to me.

    • dolemite says:

      heh, it’s like the guy yesterday that had to pay before his smoothie before they made it, and wondered if he should tip.

  12. SG-Cleve says:

    Yes, wouldn’t it make more sense to pay AFTER you see the movie?

    How can I know how much the movie is worth to me until I see it?

    Isn’t that what they do at the “pay what you want” restaurants?

  13. icewall says:

    I’m interested but what’s the gist of it? The movie/book I mean.

  14. oddnoc says:

    This didn’t work for me. Online ticket ordering is not available for the Sept. 22 show in San Francisco. This is probably due to technical incompetence, but has the same effect as if I’d been deliberately lied to.

  15. Economists Do It With Models says:

    Funny…none of the survey questions ask whether the subject has already rented the movie on iTunes, even though that would clearly impact willingness to pay. Anyway, if anyone is going in Boston, come say hi. :)

    If you are curious, my review of the movie is here:

  16. kitty says:

    “Freakonomics: The Movie, a documentary film based on the best-selling book, brings together some of the world’s most acclaimed directors, including Alex Gibney, Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing, Morgan Spurlock, Eugene Jarecki and Seth Gordon. As of September 3rd, the film is available on iTunes (and on some Video on Demand cable systems); it opens in theaters on October 1st.”

  17. thisistobehelpful says:

    Too bad it’s on a wednesday.

  18. mmeetoilenoir lurktastique says:

    No passes for Chicago. Bummer. :( Nice that they got my survey answers, though. Hmph.

  19. girly says:

    I found some of the conclusions in the book too arbitrary. It ruined the book for me.
    I also notice the answer choices on the survey are too limited.

  20. girly says:

    Is their next study on the reliability of internet questionnaires?
    Actually this would make an excellent Improv Everywhere stunt.

  21. dragonpancakes says:

    Denver is rather large, I can’t seem to find the specific theater either =/

  22. TehLlama says:

    No dice in DC either. That’s too bad, I’d probably pay more than most of you lot (despite being in the low income bracket).

  23. shepd says:

    I can’t remember, is this is the book that claimed the decrease in crime is due to increasing abortions, or is this the book that claims crime decreases as income increases?

  24. dg says:

    about we just skip the survey and you let me watch it online for $0.50?

    Otherwise, I suppose a torrent is there…

  25. SeattleSeven says:

    Done. I bought one $4.50 ticket and one $0.50 ticket. Also I pledged to purchase some popcorn and a beverage. So I figure my total investment will be $10 for two.

  26. joe says:

    i filled out the survey and then was told “No showtimes available” for ANY DATES.

    does a scam count as freakonomics?

  27. Promethean Sky says:

    That book changed my life.

  28. cparker says:

    Or if you get HDNet Movies, you can watch it for free on 9/29 @ 8PM and 11:30PM.