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Bigger Movies Might Start Costing More To See, Here's Why

movie theaters

Seeing movie theater ticket prices increase isn't surprising, it seems to happen bit by bit on a fairly consistent basis, however, now it looks like at least one theater chain is looking to increase ticket prices on only certain movies. The CFO of AMC Entertainment has begun to consider a variable pricing model that would see tentpole films become more expensive than the rest of the options at the cinema when they get released. This is following the company's acquisition of a European theater company that already does so.

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.

So get ready for those big summer blockbusters to not only cost more than they do now, but to also be more expensive than anything else at the theater. AMC Entertainment CFO Craig Ramsey made the comments during the MKM Partners Entertainment, Leisure and Consumer Technology Conference and was reported by The Hollywood Reporter. It appears the theater chain is in the very early stages of investigating this option, so they didn't go into any real detail as to what the pricing what look like. However, since the purpose of a policy like this is to increase theater revenue, we would have to assume that whatever the "blockbuster new release" price would turn out to be, it will almost certainly be something higher than what standard ticket price is today.

While seeing prices go up for the movies we most want to see is not an exciting possibility, it won't be shocking to see something like this happen. Lots of industries have variable pricing based on demand. Try to book an airline ticket or make a hotel reservation for the next week and see how much those will cost compared to making the same reservation months earlier.

On the other hand, depending on how something like this shakes out, there could also be some benefits. If the variable pricing does see a movie ticket price drop to something significantly lower over time then maybe some movies will eventually be cheaper. Maybe there's a movie that you're just not sure about paying $10 for, but knowing that you'll be able to see it for $5 next month is much more reasonable. Or, perhaps there's a movie that you loved and you want to see it again, not having to pay as much the second time could also be very attractive.

No other theater chains mentioned trying similar structures but you can bet that if AMC does give it a try, and finds success, others will surely follow. Although, if AMC prices themselves out of the market so that theatergoers use other theater chains to avoid upcharges, maybe it won't work quite a well.

Would you pay more money to see that big summer movie? Let us know in the comments.

Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.