“Spider-Man” Tickets Collected Before – Deadline
EXCLUSIVE: Following AMC CEO Adam Aron’s announcement in a recent earnings call that he has raised ticket prices specifically on The Batmanthere are studio executives and producers who are upset.
It’s a bold move at a time when cinema is desperate for a rebound from a financially disastrous pandemic, which saw the circuits shut down for perhaps a year.
However, there is a wide range of opinions on this topic, ranging from Aron’s decision to be a “nothing burger” to filmmakers and producers believing that a new caste system for film classification is in the offing. horizon, that is, if you’re not the director of a Marvel Cinematic Universe or DC title, well you’re Ed Wood, and there’s no reason for the larger population to buy a ticket for your movie.
Let’s all calm down.
First, AMC’s price spike (it is what it is, I’m told – not variable, not dynamic) on The Batman is nothing new. In fact, Regal and Cinemark have already raised their prices for Spider-Man: No Coming Home opening weekend (see chart from Box Office Analytics company EntTellgence below), and they did it again to The Batman. Note that the major studios have no influence on what exhibitors charge in terms of movie ticket prices.
And if you’re thinking, ‘Well, duh, high ticket prices kept people from seeing Batman this weekend”, the answer is absolutely “No”.
The Batman with $128 million, it is the second best opening of the pandemic behind Spider-Man: No Coming Homeis $260 million (this film already the 3rd highest ever domestic soundtrack is heading towards an $800 million take in the US and Canada).
EntTelligence reports that 20 million people in the United States have seen Spider-Man: No Coming Home during the weekend one against 9.5M for The Batman. The disparity in box office openings comes down to two different kinds of IPs and their demand, not their price: one is a reboot of a popular dark superhero, and the other is a carnival that’s the crossroads of the Marvel Cinematic Multiverse. Batman is also 25 minutes longer than Spider Man, which arguably means more sessions than the nearly 3 hour run by Matt Reeves The Batman.
As you can see, Regal’s No. 2 Theater Circuit was charging $13.73 on average during Spider Man‘s opening, above their average ticket price of $12.91. Cinemark was charging an average of $11.19 for the Jon Watts-directed title versus $10.63 while AMC this weekend was charging an average of $13.92 for a regularly priced ticket of $13.21. This weekend for Batman, AMC’s average ticket price was $14.50 (compared to the regular ticket price of $13.22), Regal’s was $13.44 (compared to $12.67), and Cinemark’s was $11. $.25 (down from $10.25).
Now let’s break this down:
– We are in an inflationary economy. And I can think of more heinous extras going on right now, i.e. four sandwiches at Jersey Mike’s totaling $70, filling your gas tank north of $60, and the continuing a la carte extras that major airlines apply for baggage and seat assignments. An extra dollar at the cinema for a popular movie that was supposed to make $100 million is no small sin, in fact it’s common sense considering the times we are in and the pandemic these exhibitors have overcome . Many are upside down and in the red, and the decision by AMC and others to raise prices slightly (even for eight days, which is the #1 circuit situation here) is arguably more of a Adam Smith’s invisible economy than a rise in prices.
–AMC implemented this price spike early on to Batman. Imax’s first day of screenings at 350 venues last Tuesday wrapped up weeks ago. Pre-weekend presales were excellent at $50 million spread over the weekend and not preloaded. Shock sticker? I do not think so. Cast sources tell me that when it comes to infrequent moviegoers losing their hair in theaters, it’s with the cost of concessions, not ticket prices. For the record, I can tell you that the same group of hot dogs, popcorn, soda and pizza for a group of 3 during a preview of Venom in 2018 cost me $75 at AMC Burbank, easily $20 more than Regal was charging at their Valencia, CA stadium in my neighborhood.
– The whole idea that exhibitors don’t want to address a situation where two moviegoers sitting next to each other are being charged two different ticket prices, well, that’s happened before with Spider Man and Batman. This superhero supplement is clearly an attempt to make up for any lost money from exhibitor monthly subscription programs.
–For cinematic content creators concerned that their marquee movies aren’t as popular as a superhero movie, here are a few things to consider. Do you want traffic to your independent film, or not? A lower price could possibly create demand (in the same breath, I’m told that a $1 isn’t known to make a difference when it comes to more or less traffic). Should we pay a high price for a small independent film? I will say that the most I have ever spent to see a movie was on a specialty title, i.e. Focus Features’ 2013 Tina Fey-Paul Rudd comedy Admission at iPic Pasadena. I shelled out $27, which is huge by today’s standards and then. As much as I enjoyed the movie, it didn’t offer the same experience as let’s say The ant Man in Imax. I would say that the ticket price was too expensive for this type of film. But what I was paying for was the plush reclining seat, free popcorn, a blanket (which I wasn’t allowed to take home) and what was then this brand new luxury dining experience .
However, rising prices are a touchy subject for studio executives and filmmakers alike, but just as studios have clamped down windows, gone to theaters day and night, or cut off the wide release pipeline on their own, so exhibitors have to make money somewhere, and that being for the most popular product of the weekend. If that allays the filmmakers’ worries, there are some very staggered prizes going on every day in a major metropolitan multiplex between daytime parties and luxury seats that we’re well beyond the days when it comes to a static price for an evening show for any film.
–“Who the devil announces that he is increasing the price of tickets! shouted a distribution boss at me. Well, Aron does. Sure, it’s not the best form of publicity as Regal and Cinemark have kept quiet about raising their prices, but it’s no secret that AMC is in debt, and the aftermaths of his announcement saw an increase in post-marketing circuit share. prices, +4% on March 1 and +1.2% the next day. Aron is at the service of its shareholders. When contacted earlier this week on the subject, AMC did not provide any further comment on the whole subject of Batman price increases.
–Some distribution sources argue that Aron’s announcement of a price spike “sends a horrific message to the consumer right now.” That there is no compromise for the consumer. IE if prices go up Batman, it goes without saying to lower the prices of competing titles. Will the big circuits mount their tickets on a popular family title to come? This is one area where the whole topic of skyrocketing ticket prices gets slippery.
So Batman costs about $1 more among major tours. Has it slowed down business? Hard to say that was the case since people had literally made appointments to see the film well in advance. Almost 60% of BatmanMoviegoers bought their tickets before opening day according to Comscore’s PostTrak, while 76% bought them online (vs. at the cinema). We learn that AMC brought in almost a third of the $100.3 million Batman revenue in its first two days, Regal 20% of that number and Cinemark 15%.
Are there bound to be more movie ticket price increases for highly anticipated movies over $100 million in the future? I think we can easily say “Yeah”, given that Batman was second in an inflation-ridden economy.
Yet the price increases have not prevented anyone from seeing Spider-Man: No Coming Home Where The Batman.