Summer is almost here,meaning the buzz around summer blockbusters is getting louder. This weekend alone stands to get the blood rushing of many movie goers, as the weather begins to warm up, 3D animated film How to Train Your Dragon is released, and…movie ticket prices go up?
Up to a 26% rate increase is being implemented by select movie theaters around the country, raking up the price of going to the cinema. The price jump, in some areas, is specific to 3D movies, and is being tacked on as a surcharge (IMAX not included). On top of the regular movie ticket price, there’s also the surcharge for renting or purchasing the 3D glasses required for fully enjoying the relevant films’ effects. Making this surcharge even more expensive is an interesting move for Hollywood and the theaters that distribute its films.
How will the consumers feel about it? For the parents looking forward to taking their little ones to see How to Train Your Dragon this weekend, they can expect to spend an average of $63 on 3D tickets for a family of four. If everyone wants popcorn, Rasinets and a slurpee, you’re easily looking to spend $100 for an evening at the show.
The timing on a 3D movie ticket price increase couldn’t be better. Hollywood is churning out more 3D movies than ever before, and theaters are charging as much as they can for the added perks of improved special effects. If the consumers are willing to absorb the prices of surcharges and their price hikes, Hollywood will just keep playing to this new fancy. I’m sure that would be a great perk for the upcoming summer blockbuster season.
And that’s just a small portion of the current media trends within the entertainment business. Hollywood and other content producers are seeking better ways in which to encourage the consumer market, as the entertainment industry has seen some volatile changes in the past few years. I expected that technology would somehow rejuvenate the Hollywood and broadcast television industry in some way, and 3D could be Hollywood’s ticket to summer success.
But are all the added surcharges necessary? Isn’t Hollywood and the corporate bigwigs behind movie theaters beginning to recreate the problem they just started to address, with lowered prices, increased specials and extended matinees? Won’t the ongoing increase of ticket prices merely scare people away from theaters all over again, as it did during the last wave of cinema reinvention?
Between the improved technology behind movie experiences and the distinct revival of theaters as a place of entertainment, Hollywood and film distributors are looking to take advantage of the renewed interest in going to the movies. Even after (or should I say especially after) the past few months of film flops, summer blockbusters riveted with 3D effects are hoping to ride on the success of hits like Avatar.
But until consumers begin demanding that they be allowed to bring their own 3D glasses into the cinema, theaters will in fact be able to charge extra for the use of theirs. And as 3D films increase in popularity, so too will the price of renting yet another accessory required for enjoying movies in this day and age.