Regal Entertainment Group, the second-largest theater chain in North America, is testing out demand-based pricing, which means discount tickets for less popular films and less popular times of the day. Or does it mean increased prices for blockbusters? Or maybe a little bit of both?
Regal has not yet gone into specifics about how much ticket prices are going up, down, or sideways. Those details will probably depend on each particular market anyway. It is worth noting that the industry has had some form of demand-based pricing for a while now, in the form of matinees being cheaper than evening shows. Also, seniors and children are often cheaper than adults, but that’s a little different.
As a lifelong moviegoer, and a former theater industry employee, who has witnessed plenty of empty seats over the years, I have often wondered if this sort of tiered pricing system might make sense. In the long run, it might prove to be the perfect fix, but in the near future, it will probably involve audience’s heads exploding as they struggle to deal with change.