According to various sources, AMC theaters is planning to not only raise their ticket prices, but their concession prices as well during the pandemic no less. They've also decided to reduce the number of showtimes they have per day in order to reduce cost at their respective locations. It should also be noted that since more theaters have been reopening back up, when lockdown restrictions were being lifted, and more studios felt confident to release some of their big hitters into theaters again like "Fast 9" and etc, AMC was also the theater chain that bought out a lot of new locations during the pandemic like the Pacific Grove 14 and the Glendale 18 in Los Angeles.
My guess is that they probably drank the proverbial Kool Aid about how society was going to be completely back to normal by the end of 2021, and buying all those closed down theater locations was going to help them reap tons of profits in the long term. Unfortunately, the Delta variant of the coronavirus, and the fact that streaming is becoming more convenient as time goes on might have something to say to that, but I digress.
While I can definitely see where the CEO and board of directors are coming from with this move, as we have to keep in mind a few things. Theaters only make a small fraction of the box office take from a movie. Most of it goes back to the studio that made the film, as theaters only get a small percentage of that. Most of the profits from a theater relies heavily on concession stand sales; hence why even pre pandemic days they'd overcharge you in order to pay their employees. I know this because I used to work at a theater, when I was younger, so I do have a bit of an understanding of how theaters operate.
The problem with the theatrical business model is that it's always been reliant on other parties like Universal, Disney, Warner Bros and etc, to give them fresh new content people want to see on a regular basis, or they risk not making any money. And anyone with common sense in business will tell you, it's never a smart idea to have a business model rely solely on other parties that aren't legally or financially obligated to care about your bottom line; hence why Disney doesn't care about what theater owners think when they made "Black Widow" a simultaneous release on both Disney Plus Premiere Access and theaters on the same day. It's also why Warner Bros. did not care about the theaters when they decided to release their entire 2021 movie lineup on HBO Max simultaneously as their respective theatrical releases, for no additional cost.
It's also the main reason studios like Disney, Warner Bros, Universal, Sony and etc don't care about forcing the theaters to agree to a new 45 day window for theatrical releases even after the pandemic is over. Before the pandemic, movies that debut in theaters typically had to be exclusive in theaters for at least a few months. Granted, there were exceptions here, and there, but most movies that premiered on the big screen had to be exclusive in theaters for months before debuting on VOD, streaming, DVDs and etc. Now, that window been cut short to 45 days, which isn't a big exclusivity window when you think about it.
Hence, why i always maintained that if theaters wish to keep from going out of business during this pandemic, they're going to have to evolve, and upgrade their level of service regardless of what happens. as most people can easily wait 45 days before seeing a movie for free on a streaming service they're already paying for versus having to wait months like it was before.
For the record, I do think theaters will come back in a big way once the pandemic is over because the reality is as long as online piracy exists, there will be no other way for Hollywood to make a billion dollars on a movie. That's just a fact, so I do think theaters will come back to be bigger than before solely for that reason alone. They may be under different ownership though, which I foresee happening, but they'll come back in full force once this is all over.
But in the short term, I do think AMC raising their prices, and limiting their shows, is a stupid idea, and I can only see it being counterproductive. Not only do I see this turning people off from the theaters more, but it may even make some people not even want to come back considering there's a lot of people that lost their jobs during the pandemic, so I can't imagine them raising prices is going to do them any favors PR wise among consumers, but what are your thoughts? Do you think AMC is doing the right thing to raise prices and limit showtimes? Or probably not? Please discuss.
Also here's a link from indiewire that explains the situation far better than I just did if you want to know more.
https://www.indiewire.com/2021/08/amc-t … 234656935/
Your article finishes off with:
"Optimism only goes so far
Aron hopes to be cash-flow positive by Q4 2021, based on the belief that the domestic box office will gross $5.2 billion for the year.
A little back-of-envelope math: The year to date represents about $1.78 billion. That leaves just over 20 weeks to earn $3.4 million. On a weekly basis, that averages out to $170 million.
No week this year grossed $170 million.
There have been two weeks that exceeded $140 million, the best one being July 9-15 when “Black Widow” provided the majority of the $165 million total.
In 2019, when the total gross for that 20-week period was just under $4 billion, only 10 weeks exceeded $170 million.
Overly optimistic? Yes. But hope and Apes spring eternal."
Who wants to be pessimistic?
I think we will adapt and cheer on AMC, no matter what! We love the movie theater.
We always will.
Yay Disney and ALL the creative innovators of film, past and present.
Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group.
Walt Disney Studios.
20th Century Fox.
The Weinstein Company.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_o … technology
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