I like to watch movies from time to time. The theater is usually a no-go for us because it is so expensive to go nowadays, especially with a family of five. The snacks are outrageously priced too. Then there's the whole issue of the kids sitting still during the movie, without having to take twenty trips to the bathroom (OK, so maybe I am exaggerating a little there!). There are way more reasons for us to skip the theater than there are to actually go.
That brings us to movie rentals. Yes, they are much more affordable. And children who do not care to watch the movie are free to roam and play closeby instead. Many people are going with Netflix these days. That can be a bargain for sure, but if at all possible, I like to keep our business local and help the local economy and business guy out. Many movie rental stores have specials for additional savings, so it may be worth it to check it out. Our local store has "Movie Mondays", where I can go rent any movie in the store for $.99, including new releases. Plus the fact that this movie store has rentals that are allowed to be out for anywhere from 2-7 days, so I don't have to watch them right away if I don't have time to. Or if I don't want to go on Monday, they have another special, 5 movies for 5 dollars, but you can't get new releases on the deal. You can always call the local movie stores and ask about specials.
One more idea I would like to throw in there is the local library. Many times, renting movies from there is free. That is not an option for us because of the distance of our library from us. They have to be back the next day, and that just doesn't work for us because of the drive to get there. But I know of many families who happily rent movies from their local library.
For us, using the specials gives us significant savings. Just because you are on a budget doesn't mean you have to miss out on entertainment. There are ways to enjoy a movie for significantly less, and honestly it is just more convenient for us anyhow.