Premium ticket or discount? Cineplex CEO ‘experiments’ with ticket prices

Audiences rush back to theaters to watch Avatar: Path of Water on expensive Imax screens. Cineplex Inc. says it’s open to “experimenting” with cheaper tickets to some movies if it might bring people back home.

CEO Ellis Jacob said Canada’s largest movie chain is considering “different pricing for different product types,” with rare discounts on ’80 For Brady’ tickets this month. This comedy is aimed directly at older people who are reluctant to return to cinema.

“We want to accommodate our guests and we want to set the right price for this opportunity.” Cineplex reported fourth quarter results.

The North American movie chain is looking to turn a profit after years of occasional shutdowns, but with streaming alternatives aplenty, it aims to keep viewers coming back amid a turbulent economy. ticket prices have become a bigger focus.

In recent quarters, Cineplex It relied on premium tickets for Imax and UltraAVX for the “Avatar” sequel and other blockbusters to turn its losses around.

The company reported a profit of $10.2 million at the end of the calendar year, compared with a loss of $21.8 million in the second half of 2021. The result was 16 cents per diluted share, or 34 cents per diluted share a year ago.

Revenue increased to $350.1 million from $300 million a year ago.

The ‘Avatar’ sequel and ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ have been bright spots in this period of time facing a drought of new movies and moviegoers.

That void appeared in attendance numbers, which fell to 9.2 million customers from 10.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2021, when “Spider-Man: No Way Home” shattered box office records.

Concession revenue still hit a new record of $8.93 per person as moviegoers ate more expensive snacks, while box office revenue hit a record $13.06 per person driven by these premium-priced tickets. I was.

While some moviegoers are willing to pay for more expensive nights out, Jacob said lower ticket costs make sense in other cases, depending on the Hollywood title. I said there might be.

In the case of 80 For Brady, which was released on February 3, he said that Paramount Pictures, the film’s distributor, Cineplex Tickets will be sold at the price (40% discount) every Tuesday. Already discounted senior tickets have been reduced by approximately 13%.

The film stars Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and football quarterback Tom Brady and is aimed at an older audience.

A similar discount was made by US chain AMC, which charges matinee prices for movies.

Also this week, AMC announced it would soon charge different ticket prices depending on the position of the seat within the theater. .

Although Jacob did not rule out a similar move Cineplexhe said, not what the company is currently considering, and that it intends to be “very cautious” when considering such models.

Cineplex Small-scale concepts mixed in when they charged more for “prime seats” in the middle of some auditoriums in more upscale locations. These experiments were abandoned early in the pandemic, Jacob said. I was. He said one reason was that people were sitting in other people’s “prime” seats without paying.

“When the show starts and people are fighting over seats, it’s hard to navigate,” he added.

Cineplex We hope the new theater, dining and entertainment complex called Junxion will be a more successful way to increase sales and attract customers.

The hybrid venue, which opened in Winnipeg last December, features six auditoriums with reclining seats, arcades, live entertainment spaces and dining options.