More Expensive Popcorn = Higher Movie Ticket Prices

What? How that that be? This article from Ad Age predicts that as the price of popcorn rises in response to the rise in the cost of the commodities that go into a tub of popcorn — corn, cococut oil, and paper pulp — people will buy less concessions. Since concession sales are used to subsidize movie tickets, if people pass on concessions, then the movie theatres will have to raise ticket prices to make up for the lost revenue. Add on top of this, the push for theatres to upgrade to digital projection, and you have a bad situation for some theatres given the ease of renting and illegally downloading movies. Many theatres have implemented in theatre advertising before the movie to make up for this. It seems, though, that there is careful balance that has to be kept between concession prices, the duration of the ads, and customer satisfaction.

Regular price movie tickets around here in SD are going for $10 – $12 and ~$8 for a matinee. This has caused us to be very selective about the movies we see and priced us out of buying drinks at the concession stand. The last time we went to the movies, I did buy popcorn and got two courtesy cups to get water from the drinking fountain. A small popcorn at the theatre we went to was $6. I have purchased a large purse since then and I imagine until we get more “fun money” we will be bringing our own snacks and drinks into the theatre like we did when we were poor high schoool and college students. As for the before movie ads — either we come to a movie at the start time or my husband and I bring handheld games to get through the time. I will admit, though, if the ads are fresh and interesting we will watch them. I also like to watch trailers. I think “The Twenty” and schemes like that before the movies are effective when they are rotated often. This kind of scheme allows advertisers to do more than 15 – 30-second spots which leads to some more in-depth, creative, and interesting commercials for TV shows and products (usually cars, soda, and video games).  In theatres, especially at summer and winter blockbusters there is that core demographic that advertisers love present and captive.

Anyhow, here’s a link to the article.

Link

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