Discussion in 'Archive: The Amphitheatre' started by Nevermind, Oct 15, 2011.
You always get some idiot with big hair in front of you, too.
[link=http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/01/why-do-all-movie-tickets-cost-the-same/250762/]Why Do All Movie Tickets Cost the Same?[/link]
I thought this was gonna be about how ticket prices are the same everywhere, since they aren't. We only pay $9 in Massachusetts, but in New York and this article it's closer to $12 or even $14.
As for what the article actually talks about, maybe they can change the price depending on when you purchase them. Or lower them when the movie has been playing for a particular amount of time.
I don't know if this is still the case but it used to be common to eliminate matinee discounts for "event" films. That would effectively bring up the average ticket price paid for those movies.
The 3D price premium may also be a permanent thing.
But I agree I think there should be more segmentation of movie demand based on price. It's being done for pay per view now at home. Comcast has one price for new release rentals, a higher price for HD rentals, an even higher price for "same day as theater" rentals, and a discount price for older movie collections.
Movie theaters should be doing the same thing.
There's a theater about twenty minutes from my house that does a Fall Classics series; they bring back classic films to play for a week October through December. Back in 2010, when I found out about it, I would go to the early showing on Saturday, which was 11:30. I would get on what they called an "early bird" special. This year, the earliest they played any of the films was 12:00 noon; no early bird special. This is nonsensical to me; I'm going into a theater to see a movie, but because it is exactly thirty minutes later than last year, I get to pay an extra buck? What does that extra thirty minutes have to do with anything? Why should the fact that a movie starts at noon and not 11:45 necessitate raising the price by a dollar? That just kind of reflects what I feel is the basic way in which theater ticket prices really don't make much sense in the first place.
I mean, it don't bother me; I'll pay full price to see Gone with the Wind on a big screen. They should discount some of the new movies if they want me to see those. I think that theaters should have to lower their prices according to the movie's rating on Metacritic or something. Like you'd have to pay full price to see a revival of Casablanca, but you could get into see the new Adam Sandler movie for like a quarter. I'd go for that.
Nah, do it the other way around. Price people into taste.
If it's true that concessions are what generates most of the profits for theaters, then I have to believe that the movie studios control prices, not the theaters. Absent that influence I think theaters would be incentivized to use a wide range of pricing options to fill seats. The current pricing model clearly stifles demand - I rarely go to a sold out showing of anything anymore.
When Avatar came out it was more expensive than other films showing, because the studio requested it be that way.
Having multi-tiered pricing wouldn't work. You have to remember that customers are, generally, idiots. You're basically going to end up with longer lines as people who don't understand the pricing system (or wish to complain about it, or wish to change their mind/ticket) start asking for management/supervisors/refunds.
Not to mention you'll have the people who will go to the cheaper movie instead of the movie they want to see (yeah, it's their problem, but I'm thinking kids in particular would suffer from such scenarios by being dragged to cheaper stuff they don't want to see; You don't think some parents will force their kids to see Jack & Jill instead of The Muppets or Tin Tin if the ticket is almost half the cost? This will definitely happen. I've seen mothers refuse to buy their crying children an ice cream bar (that they were otherwise intending to buy for them) because they didn't want to pay the 6 cents of sales tax on it. I **** you not.
There's also the simplicity of knowing what I'm going to pay for a movie before I get there without having to look it up in advance, which makes it easier to budget for.
But I don't see the studios going for it, when so many films with more limited appeal are struggling to recoup their budgets as it is.
As someone who works as General Manager of a movie theater here is the number one reason you will not see different movies have different prices.
We cannot afford the staffing requirements that it would take to have people watch all the auditoriums at the same time. You could easily pay for the lowest price movie of the day and sneak into the highest price movie. The studios would have to give us a bigger percentage on the take of the box office money for that to even have a chance at becoming a reality. Let's be honest the studios are never gonna do that.
Oh and on the 3D front there is a huge battle being played out behind the scenes on the up charge we add to 3D movies. I really hope we adopt the European system for 3D movies. You pay the 3D up charge for the glasses the first time. Then when you come back for a 3D movie the glasses are yours to keep and you don't have to pay the fee unless you need new glasses. I know when a movie comes out in strictly 3D it hurts my attendance, people here in SLC don't do 3D movies. It must be the family size since the average family had like 12 people in it.
Producers and distributors have talked about run-tiered pricing off-and-on for years, and the main
objection is that people would wait for the second, third or fourth weekend when the cost of the
ticket dropped to see the movie. This would make opening weekend meaningless -- far fewer people
would see the picture opening night. Even worse, these far fewer people would be able to spread the
word if the movie was a dud, turning away people who now would not want to see the movie, in a theater
at least, at any price.
That is the line of thought, anyway.
That would be what I would guess the distributors and studios would say. I also would agree with that. I was speaking from the movie house perspective but it does go both ways.
While it's true that within a single theater all movie tickets cost the same, it's also true that some cities in America have excellent "dollar houses" - the admission may not exactly be $1 but it is still a significant discount over the first-run theaters. Of course, they get the movies several weeks/months after the first-run theaters.
Sadly, I see this happening less and less as the years go by, perhaps because of the ever-decreasing "window" for the homevideo release.
Oh, also, Sundance Cinemas has "amenities fees" that effectively mean different prices depending on the day of the week/time of day, it's a little like big chains' matinee policies but they claim it helps them keep their theaters free from slide shows and all other forms of commercials before the show.
[link=http://www.ifc.com/fix/2012/01/january-bad-month-for-movies]How to Make January a Better Month for Movies[/link]
it's not january movies that are bad, it's you!
That article seems flawed- it's opening premise seems to be suggestions on how to address the quality of movies released in theaters in January (which often becomes a dumping ground until the end of the month). Yet several of it's suggestions are, essentially, "don't go to theaters".
[link=http://io9.com/5873224/hit-movies-that-everybody-thinks-were-flops]Hit Movies Everyone Thinks are Flops[/link]
Some of the references to the films being flops are obviously meant in terms of quality, not box office.
While several on that list are turds, many on the list were actually pretty entertaining or at least decent (though all underperformed against higher expectations).
That reminded me of an article I saw suggesting that the CGI animation trend was on the wane because Cars 2 was the only one that made it into the top ten films of 2011.
This of course completely ignoring that Kung Fu Panda 2, Cars 2, Smurfs, and Rio were all in the top ten in 2011 worldwide box office.
A movie like The Adventures of Tintin looks questionable in terms of domestic b.o. ($63 million), but it's made nearly $270 million outside the U.S.
Hollywood is playing to a global audience now and the tastes of American audiences only matter so much, arguably less and less every year.
Actually, I knew Tron wasn't a flop thanks to a Freakazoid joke. Who said children's television never taught us anything?
Kind of surprised Batman & Robin isn't on that list.
They might not be "flops" but the studio reaction is more telling, namely not greenlighting sequels and such.
Now Hugo... there's a real flop. Brilliant, innovative film, but a financial disaster thus far.
Awards season will help it out, I think.
I think you can blame that on the studio. At my theater we are 16 screens and I was allowed to play it on only 1 screen and only 1 show a day could be in 2D. The rest had to be in 3D according to the studio contract. Had we gotten two screens, both a 2D screen and a 3D screen I think the per screen average would have been a much more different story. I can't imagine I was the only theater in the country that was held to this kind of garbage.
True. It's world-wide total is 64 million, against a production budget of 170 million. Not good. However, it's still
relatively early in it's foreign distribution, so that will help a lot. And I think if it gets some Oscar nominations
and healthy DVD/Blu Ray sales, it might break even.
A similar thing happened with Tintin at the theater where I saw it. Only one 2D showing of Tintin every day, at 10:45 in the morning, not a big movie-going time. And, like you say with Hugo, it's made Tintin struggle in the box office too.