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If you've ever looked at the prices for a movie ticket on the day of a Fathom event, you'll notice there's a bit of a difference, as the tickets are more expensive than a typical first-run film. Depending on the event, you could find yourself paying anywhere from a couple of dollars to a substantial amount more; it depends on the event you're going to see. But if you really look into what you're getting for your money, you'll see that there's a good reason for this price difference, which is something that I learned more about when I recently spoke with Fathom Events CEO Ray Nutt. Nutt explained the big reason for increased ticket prices as follows:
We do research on it, and we do intentionally price our events a little higher than what a normal movie ticket would be, because we believe that we bring added value and a special experience to most of our events.
Now while a Fathom Event is going to run you anywhere from a couple dollars extra for something like the Turner Classic Movies titles (like the recent revival of Grease) to a $40 ticket for something like the Mayweather/McGregor fight, the claim of added value is certainly unquestionable. During my conversation with Ray Nutt, he also mentioned how everything from special sporting events to anime and inspirational content are out of the ordinary for moviegoers. So naturally, there's a bit of a premium to go see a screening of Grease on the big screen with many other fans who will show up in costume to dance and sing an afternoon away.
But another "added value" aspect to Fathom Events' coverage of these special events is the sort of access and vantage point afforded to the crowd. In particular, the events that Fathom covers with both the Bolshoi Ballet and Metropolitan Opera are of particular added value, as those sorts of programs include behind-the-scenes footage that shows what went into the live theatrical events that are on screen. Going back to the example of the Mayweather/McGregor fight, which charged the highest ticket price for a single Fathom Event at $40 a person, Ray Nutt helped break down just why this is such a good deal, saying:
That was $100 on pay per view ...but to sit in the front row of that T-Mobile Arena and see that fight in a movie theater, that's how you got to witness it. That's pretty special.
If you want to boil down what Fathom Events provides for audiences, Ray Nutt would probably use one word: "spectacle." It's how he describes an event such as the Mayweather/McGregor fight, and it's something that definitely applies to the rest of the content the company pursues. Rather than just go out for a night at the movies, Fathom likes to provide assets that will fetch a higher-than-normal ticket price, but are still worth the money spent. And the best part is, the fans are definitely in Fathom's corner, especially when you look at the numbers.
Considering that 2017 was Fathom Events' most profitable year, and its recent run of a title as niche as Grease managed to make $1 million off of four shows alone, there's definitely a hunger for Fathom's sort of content. With the company planning to move into more diverse areas, such as filmed Broadway musicals like The Bandstand and Puffs, the content available to audiences through Fathom is going to only get even more diverse. Ultimately, it's all in the name of bringing folks to the theater, with the best seat in the house to content they may not be able to make it to otherwise.
Speaking of which, if you're an anime fan, you'll have a chance to see Studio Ghibli's The Cat Returns in encores this week as part of 2018's Ghibli Fest. Head over to Fathom Events' official website to find your nearest participating theater, as well as check out what films and events are going to be presented through its distribution.