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Will Regal’s Higher Pricing for Higher Quality Repel Students?

Dave Kuebler

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Regal Cinemas, the nation’s
second-largest theatre chain, is
about to begin testing a dynamic
new pricing model, where
the smash hit films will cost a
bit more, and the total flops are
tagged with a lower ticket price.
Everyone has found themselves
in this very same conundrum.
You’re sitting in the theater,
popcorn on one side, red vines
and soda on the other, pushing
through the coming attractions,
waiting in anticipation for your
chosen film to begin.
And then it happens. About 45
minutes into the movie, you’re
stuck, hard pressed, contemplating
to yourself why on earth you
spent full price for this abomination.
Beginning in select markets early
next year, Regal will begin the
testing of their new demand-based
pricing system for the films
shown in their theaters. This new
format will be in conjunction
with Atom Tickets, an application
company, in hopes of raising the
height of revenue and increasing
the rate of attendance.
Kristen Florczak, 19, a Business
major at Bucks doesn’t believe
this system to be beneficial, saying
“If the price is lowered, you
know it’s a crappy movie.”
Nick Mendes, 18, another business
student at Bucks echoed that
same sentiment, saying “Why pay
to see it if you know it’s going to
be terrible?”
What will be interesting to see,
under this new venture, is whether
or not the average movie goer
will boycott Regal cinemas for
the higher profiled films, such as
those within the Marvel Universe,
or the galaxies far-far away in the
Star Wars franchise.
Megan Conroy, 18, English
major at Bucks believes the
box-office blockbusters will take
a hit. “Movie tickets are already
so expensive, so raising the prices
will just make more people wait
for these movies to come out on
Netflix or on-demand.”
Marco Mendes, 18, Business
major at Bucks couldn’t agree
more. “The movies are starting to
die out now-a-days, with Netflix
and stuff like it. People would
rather just stay home instead of
spending the extra money.”
The chain has come out and
said that these tests will only
be done in the amount of markets
that will result in statistical
significance. It remains unknown
as to which cities or theaters will
participate in the testing.
And while the chain values
the number of eyes they get on
the screens, what’s even more
paramount to Regal’s bottom line,
is the length of the lines at the
concession stands.
Theaters make up to nearly
85% of their gross profit on
concession sales. Meaning, lower
ticket pricing results in greater
attendance rates, which will
ultimately coincide with the rising
sales of their high-priced snacks
and beverages.
Nick Sliwka, 19, Business
major at Bucks feels like there’s
something to it, although perhaps
not in this medium. “It makes
sense from a business standpoint.
It’s a good concept, but maybe
not for the movies. Doesn’t make
much sense to me.”
Between Netflix and On-Demand,
the already sky high price
rates, and the fading allure that
used to come with the movie
going experience, Regal Cinemas
have the right idea. Change is
absolutely a necessity. Is this the
change that will aide in rectifying
a dying industry? Or will it perhaps
add another nail in its coffin?

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The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College
Will Regal’s Higher Pricing for Higher Quality Repel Students?