Movie Theaters Put Quality Over Quantity

By: Kaydee Ambas · March 21, 2023 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

Signs of Life

The movie theater industry has been on life alert for the past few years, thanks to the one-two punch of streaming and the pandemic. While cinema might be on the ropes, it’s not down yet.

Total box office ticket sales sat just under $959 million at the end of February — up 50% from 2022. This was largely driven by the release of several major blockbusters, such as Avatar 2: Way of Water and Top Gun: Maverick. But it also has to do with a shift in movie theaters’ strategies.

Quality Over Quantity

Movie theaters had to get creative with their offerings due to the disruption caused by the pandemic.

Historically, boosting performance at a cinema chain was as simple as showing a wider variety of films on a larger number of screens. But quality gets top billing over quantity these days. For example, many theaters now provide a luxury experience for moviegoers, including comfy recliners, high-quality dining options, and bars.

Other theaters are expanding beyond movies to offer events like karaoke, trivia, and bingo. These attractions could help theaters continue to generate revenue even when there are no big box office hits out.

In addition, certain cinemas are rethinking the way they sell movie tickets altogether. AMC (AMC) recently announced a controversial tiered pricing model, which would charge more for popular seats. Other theaters take the opposite approach, rewarding loyal customers with unlimited movie subscription services.

Elevating the Experience

Even though things have improved since the pandemic, theaters are still dealing with decreased moviegoing. To compensate, theaters need to elevate the guest experience and help get people excited about the century-old tradition of going to the movies.

If these new strategies prove effective, it could create positive word-of-mouth and encourage people to come back. If you’ve stopped visiting in the past few years yourself, consider taking a look at your local theater’s website. There’s a good chance it’s upped its game.

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