‘Tightwad Tuesdays’ is the nickname in certain parts of the world for that mid-week day when business is slow and so movie tickets are discounted in order to get more human traffic flowing through the multiplexes.
Recently some large U.S. theater chains have been adopting this approach, and it has worked. The action-comedy “Stuber,” on the first Tuesday after it opened, saw a lift of 72% of business from the day before, unsurprising as tickets were being discounted to around one-third that of the regular price.
THR today reports that the business upsurge is fuelling new momentum behind cinemas potentially introducing either variable or dynamic) pricing models that would change the ticket price depending on what movies you’re seeing and when. The model is used not just in the hotel, airline and transport industries but also in European cinema chains where dynamic pricing has been long established.
With overall box-office numbers down this Summer, and the collapse of MoviePass last year, theaters are being forced to rethink their pricing model to keep moviegoers interested in the theatrical experience. Thus comes the potential of a ticket price being based on the day of the week and the showtime on that day – so Friday or Saturday evening shows would be the most expensive whilst mid-week during the day shows would be the cheapest.
No U.S. cinema chain has tested variable pricing in a serious way to date, despite a push for this initiative before a few years ago, and there is significant pushback against this model with some wanting to push harder on the possibility of monthly subscription passes tied to specific chains.