Ah, the cinema going experience. It’s not like it was in the past. Today we have amazing technology that gives us great items like IMAX, 3D, Dolby Atmos and even luxuries like plush, reclining seats. The concession stands have advanced to the point you can mix your own syrupy soda and grab a pizza. But all of that awesome fun comes at often a stiff price. Ticket prices alone have seen huge spikes, mostly to justify the tech like IMAX. I won’t even touch the logic behind the snacks. If that wasn’t enough, AMC, one of the largest movie theaters here in the States, wants to screw with ticket prices yet again. This time however it’s going to be a possible anger gathering move.
Wanting to embrace the Broadway theater scheme of charging varying prices depending on the popularity and possible seat filling nature of the subject, AMC thinks that the average movie goer should pay a premium price on Hollywood blockbusters.
CFO of AMC Theaters, Craig Ramsey, has been making comments that the industry should embrace the gouging of patrons, citing not only Broadway but a European model as well.
They [Odeon & UCI] are further advanced in variable pricing, where tentpole movies are priced up on release. That’s something we’ve talked about in the U.S. We expect to learn a lot with what they’ve done. We think it will position us to start having those conversations about pricing opportunities in the U.S.
I don’t know about you geeks but I have already cut back my cinema trips due to the higher costs of going out. I always need a drink at least and even though I try to hit matinee showings, I don’t leave without paying close to $20 just for myself. A solo viewing of a movie should not cost as much as buying the Blu ray, something I find myself doing a hell of a lot more. If AMC is successful in raking us over the coals for the next Avengers, I might skip theaters all together and always wait for the home release.
Beyond the fact that more people may stay at home, does AMC wonder what this might do to the people who torrent? I predict piracy will rise tremendously if the premium price racket comes to fruition. Not that we here at DHTG condone pirating copyrighted material.
Of course the flip side could be that AMC is the only chain to see nothing but greenbacks. We also have a Regal here, they could not follow AMC and keep prices at their already high levels. If so, we might start driving to Regal, giving them a lot more business. That would be perfect.
What do my geeks think? Is AMC off their rockers or do you think that going the scaling up method is appropriate? Sound off below and maybe give a brief explanation of your opinion.