A major movie theatre chain plans to charge more for hits and less for bombs in 2018

Movie theatre Shutterstock finalShutterstockRegal’s plan for dynamic pricing comes after the movie chain reported on Tuesday its revenue dropped 12% from a year earlier to $US716 million.
  • Regal Cinemas will start “dynamic pricing” in 2018.
  • This is on the heels of a 12% revenue drop from last year.
  • Regal won’t share revenue with MoviePass.

The idea of theatre chains offering different ticket prices for different movies has been kicked around for years.

It’s the age-old question: Would you be more willing to go to the movies to see something that’s a dumpster fire if the ticket were dirt cheap?

And now it looks like “dynamic pricing” is going to be put to the test.

Regal Cinemas, one of the largest theatre chains in the country, announced on Tuesday that it will test the concept in 2018 by charging higher prices for hit movies, and lower prices for flops.

“Changes to the historical pricing structure have often been discussed but rarely tested in our industry, and we’re excited to learn even more about how pricing changes impact customer behaviour,” Amy Miles, CEO of Regal, said Tuesday on a call with analysts, according to Bloomberg.

It’s a model movie ticket app Atom Tickets has been lobbying theatres to try out.

The big question, though, in how far the “dynamic pricing” will go. What will constitute as a bomb? A big budget studio movie that doesn’t perform well, like Warner Bros.’ “Geostorm?” Or an independent film that will likely be seen by more people on streaming services than in theatres?

Geostorm warner brosWarner Bros.Would you have gone to see ‘Geostorm’ if the ticket price was cheap?

Regal could potentially see empty seats in its theatres for both types of movies, but should an indie suffer if it’s not bringing in a mass audience?

Business Insider contacted Regal for some answers but did not get an immediate response.

It’s obvious that movie theatre chains have to start thinking outside the box.

Regal reported on Tuesday that its revenue dropped 12% from a year earlier, to $US716 million. A major reason is that many movies movies have performed poorly in the last year, adding to pressure from great content on TV and streaming.

Another hoped “game changer” to the movie business is MoviePass, the service that allows one-a-day admission to theatres for $US10 a month. However, Miles also said in the call on Tuesday that Regal won’t be sharing revenue with MoviePass.

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