It’ll be a while before movie theaters get another opening weekend like ‘The Batman,’ so big chains are trying to make the most of it.
AMC Theaters raised some eyebrows when CEO Adam Aron announced Thursday that America’s largest theater chain would introduce dynamic pricing at its locations by slightly increasing the price of Warner Bros. opening week tickets. “The Batman.”
But analysts and studio insiders say AMC is continuing a trend that was already in motion with the release of Sony’s “Spider-Man: No Way Home” three months ago, and could be a key tool for theaters. as they continue to dig out of the financial hole created by the COVID-19 pandemic in a market where only franchise tents drive ticket sales.
“Cinemas have always cut matinee shows, experimented with $5 Tuesdays, and premium formats have proven that people will pay more to see the movie the first two weeks,” said Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter. “It’s long overdue and it’s a faster road to health than sticking to the old flat pricing model.”
Even with DC, Marvel and other big tentpoles like Universal’s “Jurassic World: Dominion” coming this year, the slow start to 2022 has shown that the dry spells between big event movies are getting longer and shorter. deepen. While some February films like Lionsgate’s “Dog” and Paramount’s “Scream” enjoyed low-budget profitability, they failed to bring substantial attendance to theaters. Annual domestic revenue for the year still remains 40% below the pace of 2019 and has yet to hit $1 billion despite the $134 million opening weekend for ‘The Batman’ .
While executives at major theater chains may publicly attribute this to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, the question of whether older moviegoers and the mature films they care about will ever return to mainstream theaters looms large. in the industry, with the topic slated for a panel at next month’s CinemaCon movie industry convention.
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