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When tickets went on sale for Star Wars: The Force Awakens last month, it was kind of a big deal. Websites crashed, people went nuts. It basically broke the internet for several hours. Demand certainly exceeded supply as people who still want to see the movie on opening night have turned to scalpers to get their fix. How much of a mark-up can you expect to pay for an opening night ticket? Prices have gone up by a factor of 10.
If you live in a major city like New York or Los Angeles and want to go to an IMAX 3D showing of the film, you can forget the $20 it usually costs and plan to spend $200 or more instead. That’s peanuts compared to the price of tickets for the special screening at Disney World. According to Yahoo, tickets that originally went for less than $100 are now going for upwards of $1,000. To be fair, that showing includes access to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a special after party, but it’s still a high price to pay for an evening’s entertainment.
Ticket scalping is a common enough occurrence for live events. A live concert or an event like Comic-Con is a once-in-a-lifetime sort of thing that will never happen the same way again. This makes demand very high, and thus the price goes up with it. It’s unusual for the same thing to occur for movies however. They see multiple showings at multiple theaters for weeks or months on end. Seeing the movie is not going to be an issue, but for the biggest fans, waiting is not an option. The fact is you can jump on Fandango and buy a ticket to the movie right now, but depending on where you live opening night, especially the December 17 preview screenings, may be sold out.
The Force Awakens has already sold more than $50 million in advanced tickets. With two weeks (two very long weeks) left before the film’s release, time is starting to get short for people to track down that perfect ticket. This will, of course, only increase prices that much more as the desperate only become more so. Some experts think the film will do upwards of $200 million in the first weekend, though Disney is trying to manage expectations.
This is leading to speculation that movie ticket pricing may become more dynamic in the future. Today, a ticket costs the same amount on opening night or a month later. As studios begin to focus more and more of their efforts on fewer, but larger, films is it possible pricing will change so opening night tickets cost more than those later in the run.
If you weren’t able to get tickets to the showing you wanted, how much would you be willing to pay for that perfect ticket? If you checked out the secondary options, what was your experience?