UFC 111 Shown in Movie Theaters: A Good Thing or Bad?

Erik FontanezCorrespondent IFebruary 23, 2010

The Ultimate Fighting Championship and Fathom Events announced today via UFC.com that UFC 111: St. Pierre vs. Hardy will be shown in select theaters across the country.

The move would be the first of its kind in MMA, following the example of boxing and their theater presentation of Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Juan Manuel-Marquez last year.

According to MovieTickets.com , retail price for one ticket is $25.00 plus a $1.00 service charge, with no change in price for seniors or children.

The early opinion from fight fans is not of the most positive and many have been voicing their dislike of a few characteristics of the situation.

Opportunities to drink your choice of alcohol may not be readily available at most, if not any, theaters showing the fight on Mar. 27.

With Bud Light being one of the main sponsors of the UFC, it’s difficult to imagine a tremendous amount of it will be sold to theater goers during the hours of the event.

In addition to the price of the ticket, those who enjoy a good meal during the fights will be restricted to the concession stands, where a box of candy costs close to five dollars.

A couple going to watch the fights will have to spend a minimum of $50 just for tickets, while spending anywhere from an additional $20 to $30 for food.

For the common fight fan, these points make it a tough sell for the UFC to make, and movie theaters could be close to empty as a result.

Not all opinion is negative, however.

Having the fights shown on a giant screen in high definition with a state-of-the-art sound system is an experience that is second to none.

Seeing an already enormous Shane Carwin fight a recently beefed up Frank Mir on a giant screen is unlike any view one might have at a local sports bar.

Only millionaires have screens that size in their own homes, while the average UFC fan is still saving money trying to buy their first flat screen.

Eating at home before the fight might be an alternative to eating during the action and would save good chunk of money. With the fight being three hours (and depending on where one lives in the lower 48 states), having a few drinks before or after the fights is also a valid option.

Dinner, then a movie is the thrifty approach as opposed to dinner during the movie.

One cannot ignore the question of how the UFC will perform when it comes to theater revenue and how many seats are filled once UFC 111 is on the silver screen.

Like other sports in the past, the UFC is hopeful to sell a decent amount of tickets and add that revenue to the amount they make off of Pay-Per-View sales.

The speculated goal is to avoid the low numbers of the Mayweather-Marquez theater effort reported by USAToday.com , where they earned a $6.8M (gate) with 12,006 tickets sold. Over 2,600 tickets were unsold and over 800 seats were given away.

The bottom line is Dana White and Zuffa see a profit in putting this highly anticipated card in movie theaters, so there must be something they know that the majority of the public fails to realize.

Each fight fan is different, and they enjoy watching UFC events in their own particular fashion.

Whether it be in a movie theater, in a crowded sports bar, or in the comfort of their own home, viewers will find a way to watch this card and enjoy it for all it’s worth. 

This time around, there is just one more option.

With the recent win by Cain Velasquez at UFC 110, the UFC 111 bout between Frank Mir and Shane Carwin gains more attention and curiosity with the question of who will fight heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar.

UFC 111 will give more clarity to the heavyweight title picture and, if seen in HD on a movie screen, nothing will be more clear and, literally, in your face.

Georges St. Pierre and Dan Hardy will headline the card while Jon Fitch and Thiago Alves add fire with a pretty intense rematch.

UFC 111: St. Pierre vs. Hardy will take place on Mar. 27, 2010 at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ at 10pm ET, 7pm PT.

For list of theaters showing the fight, click here .