Going to the movies is a popular outing for Colombians and Medellín has several movie theaters in the city. The majority of movies shown in Medellín are Spanish language but some movies are in English with Spanish subtitles.
Occasionally movies premier in Colombia before in the United States so it is sometimes possible to see a new movie premiere here in Colombia before it opens in the States.
The movie theaters in Colombia tend to be smaller than in the United States but they typically have reserved seats. When you buy your movie tickets in Colombia you can also select your seats.
It is recommended to buy tickets early for newly released popular movies, as they tend to sell out quickly in some theaters, especially on the weekends (Friday and Saturday nights).
Each of the movie theaters in Medellín will have concessions selling popcorn, hot dogs, drinks and other snacks.
Keep in mind that movie theaters in Colombia and other parts of the world typically make a killing selling popcorn, candy, and soda. Some have estimated that profits from movie theater concessions are as high as 85 percent.
That is why movie theaters in Medellín typically have a policy of customers not being able to bring in outside food and drinks.
Box Office Openings in Colombia
Colombia has a relatively small film industry so most of the box office openings each year in Colombia are foreign films. Each year there is now over 200 new movies shown in Colombia.
In 2013, there was a total of 244 box office openings for movies in Colombia and 227 of these were foreign films. In 2012, there was a total of 213 box office openings in Colombia and 191 of these were foreign films.
Movie Theater Chains
Colombia has six major commercial movie theater chains with five of these chains having movie theaters in Medellín:
- Cine Colombia
- Cinemas Procinal
- Royal Films
Cineland is another chain without theaters in Medellín. They have movie theaters in Barranquilla, Cartagena, Valledupar, Santa Marta and Riohacha.
The Cinemark movie theater chain has six theaters in Bogotá, one in the El Tesoro mall in Medellín, as well as theaters in many other cities in Colombia.
Most of the movie theaters in Medellín are found in the malls.
Cine Colombia also has cinemas in Armenia, Barranquilla, Bogotá, Bucaramanga, Cali, Cartagena, Ibagué, Manizales, Montería, Pereira and Villavicencio.
Cine Colombia has the Cineco frequent moviegoer card that provides discounts for movies. The card cost 6,500 pesos ($2.70). For every 1,200 pesos in spending at Cine Colombia you receive one point. Points can be redeemed for movie tickets and food products.
For example, 100 points can be redeemed for a general admission 2D movie ticket.
Cinemas Procinal is a movie theater chain with theaters in seven cities in Colombia. In Medellín, Cinemas Procinal has six locations: in the Monterrey, Las Américas, Florida Parque, Mayorca, Puerta del Norte and Aves Maria malls.
The movie theater chain also has cinemas in Apartadó, Bogotá, Barrancabermeja, Cartagena, Rionegro and Villavicencio.
Similar to Cine Colombia, Cinemas Procinal has a frequent moviegoer card. With this card you can buy tickets at discounted rates and receive discounts on food and beverages.
Similar to Cine Colombia and Cinemas Procinal, Royal Films also has a frequent moviegoer card, Cliente Royal, which I understand is free. With the card you can buy tickets at discounted rates and receive a free movie ticket on your birthday.
Cinépolis is a movie theater chain in Colombia with only six theaters in the country. In Medellín, Cinépolis only has a theater in the City Plaza mall in Envigado.
The movie theater chain has more theaters in Bogotá (two cinemas), Barrancabermeja and Cali (two cinemas).
Movie Ticket Costs
In Medellín, movie ticket prices depend on the neighborhood, the time of day and the day of the week. Also preferential seating (the better higher up seats) will be more expensive than general admission seating.
Movies before 3 p.m. or after 10:30 p.m. tend to be lower cost. Also movies shown on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays tend to be higher cost during popular times. In addition, 3D movies will be more expensive.
For example, at the Los Molinos Cine Colombia, for 2D movies shown on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday, the price is 8,500 pesos ($3.52) for general admission for movies before 3pm or after 10:30 p.m. For 3D movies during these times, the price for general admission is 11,500 pesos ($4.78).
On Wednesday at the Los Molinos Cine Colombia the price is cheap at 4,250 pesos ($1.76) for 2D general admission movies before 3 p.m. or after 10:30 p.m.
On Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays at Los Molinos the price is 8,500 pesos ($3.52) for general admission for 2D movies before 3 p.m. or after 10:30 p.m.
For movies between 9pm and 10:30pm, the price is higher. For example, in Los Molinos on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays the price is 10,500 pesos ($4.36) for general admission tickets for 2D movies between 3 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
In El Poblado ticket prices for movies are generally higher than other neighborhoods in the city.
For example, at the Santafé mall, Cine Colombia charges 12,500 pesos ($5.19) on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays for general admission for 2D movies between 3 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. (2,000 pesos higher than Cine Colombia at the Los Molinos mall).
The Bottom Line
Movie ticket prices in Colombia are nearly 50 percent cheaper than in the US. In 2014, the average ticket price at North American movie theaters was $8.12 (through November).
In Medellín the average movie ticket price is likely less than $4.50.
In 2011 (the most recent accurate data for Colombia I could find) the average ticket price at Colombia movie theaters was $4.19, which compared to $7.93 in North America in 2011.