Movie Ticket Prices to Rise, Positioning Change Must Follow
Think you’re paying way too much for a movie ticket these days? Well, prepare yourself for more bad news. It appears that a strategy to recover dwindling theater revenues (four percent drop in 2011) will include a merging of 3D and 2D ticket prices, thereby raising regular ticket prices.
Joe Paletta, CEO of Spotlight Theatres, recently suggested a new cinema pricing structure. In an editorial for Screen Trade Magazine, he said, “3D charges will help increase the overall ticket price but, as an industry, I think we’ll see a blend begin to emerge in 2012, where patrons will have a single price for both 2D and 3D films. 2D prices will increase and 3D prices will decrease.”
As a self-proclaimed movie fanatic, I’m disappointed by this development, as I’m sure many movie-goers will be, but if the theaters insist on changing the ticket pricing structure, they will also have to change their positioning. If this change pans out, their biggest mistake will have been neglecting to cater to their core audience – 2D movie-goers. Instead, they’ll be punishing this core audience for its failed 3D investment.
The only way to turn that around will be to change their positioning around 3D movies. 3D is a novelty that has attracted children and family for years but is not a staple of movie-watching. In order for this change to be perceived as a success, the movie theaters must change the perception of 3D as a novelty and position it as a new core offering. The goal will be to sell 2D viewers on the notion that they won’t be paying more for 2D ticket prices, but that they’ll be gaining a great feature and enhanced cinematic experience for a discounted price.
What are your thoughts? Will the theaters be able to mitigate the frustration around raised ticket prices by raising the exposure of 3D?