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Regal theaters to try charging less for unpopular movie tickets

(Photo: Getty Images/AFP, Loic Venance)

According to a report from Bloomberg (via Entertainment Weekly), Regal Entertainment Group—the second-largest movie theater chain in the country—is planning to test out a new system of “demand-based pricing” in its theaters, which essentially means that tickets for very popular movies might become more expensive while tickets for stinkers that nobody wants to see will become cheaper. The idea is to simply see how customers react, but a pricing structure like this could theoretically incentivize people to see more low-tier movies they wouldn’t necessarily bother watching in a theater. It would also help theater chains milk some extra cash from the hordes of people who can’t miss the latest Star Wars movie or Marvel sequel, but it seems like the emphasis is naturally on the “some movies will be cheaper” angle.

Regal is working with app company Atom Tickets to make this happen, and it’ll reportedly begin testing it in theaters early next year. The Bloomberg story doesn’t have specifics, but Regal says the rollout will happen “in enough markets to be statistically significant.” In a statement, Atom co-founder Matthew Bakal said it would be “transformative” to the whole movie business if they could get customers to go the theater even one more time a year, and since Regal and Atom can’t exactly make their own Star Wars movie, this could be a way to make that happen.


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