Regal Cinemas is considering trying out a demand-based pricing structure. We don't know much about it yet, other than that it would have people pay more for big-ticket hit movies and less for flops / smaller films. Which sounds like it could be a pretty terrible idea for everyone.
Apparently, Regal is trying to increase the amount of people willing to put on pants, turn off Netflix, and leave the house to see a movie. The problem is that we're just not as willing to do that these days for a movie which might not be any good. Why leave the house for an OK movie when we could watch a brand-new, never-before-seen film on our living room couch for a fraction of the cost?
Regal hopes that the allure of low-cost tickets will solve this problem. But will it? Are people actually going to want to put on pants to watch a terrible movie, even if it's $5? Maybe they're banking on the "ironic" moviegoers, who enjoy watching awful movies in a masochistic fashion. But even if this plan does work, there are a couple of pretty dire consequences. One is that in trying to lower prices and increase consumption of sucky movies, it will make film execs think we liked watching those sucky movies. The reality is we just wanted to pay $5 to sit in a dark, air-conditioned room. But when they see that The Snowman is selling a ton of $5 tickets, they'll just keep giving us The Snowman until we die.