Movie Theaters Considering Variable and Dynamic Pricing After Success of Discount Tuesdays
The success of discount Tuesdays, which is offered by nearly every movie theater chain across the country, has movie theaters increasingly considering both variable and dynamic pricing models that would change depending on what movies you’re seeing and when.
According to The Hollywood Reporter theaters are rethinking their pricing model as they struggle to keep moviegoers interested in the theatrical experience. Yet the move could be interpreted by moviegoers as both confusing and controversial. Per Eric Handler of MKM Partners:
“When you charge a lower price, right there you are saying the movie isn’t as good as another film. You are saying you have to discount it in order for people to show up. I don’t think that is something you will see anytime soon.”
This was something that Steven Spielberg and George Lucas predicted back in 2013. Speaking at a University of Southern California event at the time, Spielberg first predicted an implosion of the film industry where “three or four or maybe even a half-dozen megabudget movies are going to go crashing into the ground” and shift the paradigm of film distribution. But it’s what Spielberg and Lucas said about the theatrical experience that applies here:
Spielberg: “You’re gonna have to pay $25 for the next Iron Man, you’re probably only going to have to pay $7 to see Lincoln.”
Lucas: “I think eventually the Lincolns will go away and they’re going to be on television.”
Spielberg: “As mine almost was. This close — ask HBO — this close.”
Lucas: “We’re talking Lincoln and Red Tails — we barely got them into theaters. You’re talking about Steven Spielberg and George Lucas can’t get their movie into a theater.”
Spielberg: “I got more people into Lincoln than you got into Red Tails.”
Lucas: “The pathway to get into theaters is really getting smaller and smaller.”
Currently—and certainly for the time being—movie theaters are still testing out their own subscription ticket models in the wake of the success of MoviePass. AMC Theatres allows customers to pay between $20 and $24 a month (depending on their market) in order to see three movies each week. Regal is getting ready to launch their own movie ticket subscription, and the niche theater chain Alamo Drafthouse has their own unlimited model as well.