I love going to the movies! I don’t even have a problem going on my own. I’m just getting frustrated paying outrageous movie theater ticket prices, but I have an idea!
Why are tickets so expensive?
There is a lot that goes into why movie tickets are so much money. If you’re interested in a funny interview and some details here’s a great article on the subject.
In the first few weeks after a movie releases the studio takes 70 – 80% of the gross ticket sales. On top of that there are movie brokers and distrubtors that take a percentage as well. So while AMC charges $13.69 for an adult ticket they are probably only keeping about $1.30 – $1.75.
At the end of the day your local theater is left with just a few percentage points to run the theater, employ the teenage stub cutters, cover the cost of cleaning the sticky soda under your feet, and everything else that goes into runing a theather.
Why is a box of Sno💩Caps $6?
This one’s easy. Concessions are so expensive because it’s frankly the only way theaters can make any money.
This is also why we see more straight up commercials before previews now. Why lots of theaters are getting into the alcohol and restaurant businesses. This is where the money is!
“If you didn’t have concessions at a movie theater, there would be no movie theater. We have movies just to get people in to buy popcorn and candy, where we make our money.” – Article by Annelena Lobb
We’re spiraling away from a solution.
Every year we expect nicer theaters, bigger more comfortable seats, better ammenties but we also gripe about ticket costs. On top of that too many people are now choosing to stay home and pirate films because it’s so accessible.
Pirating leads to less ticket sales, which results in theaters having to increase ticket prices, which leads to more people staying home, which leads to more increases, and so on and so on.
“Someday soon going to the movies will be as expensive and luxurious as going to see a Broadway Play” – unknown
Netflix are you listening?
We all have Netflix, and many of us also have free 2-day-shipping from Amazon which means we have Amazon Prime video. On top of that there’s Hulu, HBO Go, Showtime Anytime and the list goes on and on. We’re watching movies on our phones, tablets, smart tv’s, and laptops.
So many movies and shows are accessbile to us anywhere anytime. Not to mention that Netflix alone spent $6 Billion on original content last year. But as David Lynch puts it:
“It’s such sadness that you think you’ve seen a film on your FUCKING telephone! Get real!” – David Lynch
All this amazing original content and no movie theater experience. It’s a shame, it’s a sadness and we can do better.
Before you go, let's exchange emails so we can stay in touch. Mine is [email protected], what's yours?
Let’s fix our movie theater experiences while bringing revenue back to the theaters.
As we discussed theaters only make a buck or so per adult ticket sold. Netflix needs to license their original content to AMC, Showcase, and Regal for $0. In return these theaters will not charge more than $2 for a ticket to Netflix subscribers.
The theaters will actually make more revenue per ticket this way, and Netflix gets to show their original content on the big screen. It’s a win, win. But wait there’s more.
— Jesse Friedman (@professor) July 21, 2017
On a Saturday night gong out to the movies with my wife and son costs us on average $35 in ticket sales. It’s hard to agree to pay an additional $30 dollars for a soda, candy, and a popcorn. So as you can imagine we resort to sneaking in sodas and little bags of popcorn. 🙂
In my scenario I just spent $6 in movie tickets for my entire family. Now it’s way easier for me to spend the $29 I would have otherwise spent on tickets, on concesions. This increases candy and soda sales, which dramatically increases theater revenue and now it’s a win, win, win!
Not to mention that non Netflix subscribers can subscribe to netflix for a month for the cost of one ticket. So Mr Hastings (CEO of Netflix) give the theaters an affiliate commision for signing up new Netflix subscribers at the box office. Boom!
Reed Hastings if you’re reading this, all I ask in return for the idea is that you actually do it!
P.S. MovieTickets.com has a great 404 page.
Jesse Friedman has been building websites for 18 years, and exclusively with WordPress since 2006. Since then Jesse has written several books, taught 100’s of students as a professor, and organized dozens of local meetups along with a few WordCamps.
Jesse has spoken at tech conferences around the world including SXSW, HOW, Future events and many more. Jesse has consulted for a wide array of companies from small agencies to multi-billion dollar international companies.
Today Jesse is a proud team member of Jetpack at Automattic, where he spends his time growth hacking and building strategic partnerships.