Cinemark tests dynamic ticket pricing
The Future. Movie-theater chain Cinemark announced that it is testing dynamic pricing for tickets, meaning that movies during slower times of the day could cost less than a popular showtime, like nights or weekends. Granted, that could also mean that a Friday night screening for a new blockbuster could be very expensive if there’s no cap to the pricing… a move that could turn audiences off quickly.
Cinemark is experimenting with a new way to fill seats.
- The third-largest theater chain is testing the idea of dynamic pricing — tickets fluctuating in price.
- Factors that could change the price of a ticket include market (LA, NYC, etc.), time of day or week, and showtime demand.
During Cinemark’s last earnings call, CEO Sean Gamble touted the company’s first profitable quarter since the pandemic began, attributing success partly to “a theatrical window [that] continues to produce bigger events… and increase box office with reduced piracy.”
Now the new ambition is making sure as many seats are filled throughout the day as possible — not just weekend nights.
Broadway at the big screen
The idea of dynamic pricing isn’t new. Broadway has been doing it forever, pricing matinees or weekday shows lower than nights and weekends. Why? Because everyone loves going out on Friday or Saturday night, but lower prices — during less popular times — attract people on a budget.
Granted, Cinemark’s dynamic-pricing experiment would face stiff competition from Regal and AMC, who have chosen a membership pass model to attract audiences to more movies. For one monthly price, the AMC Stubs program allows members to see up to three movies a week, while the Regal Unlimited allows members to see as many movies as they want as long as the showtimes don’t overlap.