With movie theaters raising ticket prices more than 5% each year, and home theaters becoming bigger and more impressive all the time, are cinema owners in danger of pricing themselves out of the market?
A new report from The Wrap suggests that ticket price may be a factor in disappointing box office results for Scott Pilgrim, Piranha 3D and Nanny McPhee Returns, despite buzz and good reviews before release; one anonymous theater chief is reported as believing that pricing is what killed Hollywood's 2010 buzz:
We had a year that was going really well, with films like ‘Avatar’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ [and] then in around May, you started seeing lots of articles in the newspaper about price increases. I think people voted on how much they like that with their pocket books.
There’s certainly not much room for the price increasing further. The big question is going to be what happens in October and November. Once we get away from the big tentpole movies, what’s going to happen with (3D) movies like ‘Jackass 3D’ and ‘Megamind’?
The obvious suggestion would be, lower the prices then. But it has to be noted: Attendance hasn't actually dropped at theaters this year, it's just stayed static, but with increased pricing, movie theaters will be making more money anyway. In that case, doesn't it make just as much sense to keep raising prices to offset a potential fall in moviegoers?