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TOPIC: Price of Gas vs. Movie Ticket Sales

Price of Gas vs. Movie Ticket Sales 07 Dec 2010 10:25 #34975

  • muviebuf
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One constant that I have noticed in my 40 years in this business is that when the price of gas hits a certain figure then movie ticket sales take a direct hit. That threshold 'gas price' figure has varied (and been climbing) but over the past 5 years I have noticed it is the $3.00 mark where it begins to negatively impact movie ticket sales.

According to tracking report ticket sales for November 2010 where the slowest in 15 years. And the price of gas in my area in now over $3.00 a gallon for unleaded regular.
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Re:Price of Gas vs. Movie Ticket Sales 07 Dec 2010 10:42 #34978

  • Mike
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If we are planning on cheap gas to sustain our theatres we are in for a long slow cold spell. Gas-oil-etc. will continue to go up and up. The party's over. We haven't seen nothing yet. We blew our energy trust fund metaphorically cruising the strip. :) I think that even as the new reality of fuel that isn't free is battered into our thick skills we'll all adjust and keep going to the movies. But probably will not drive 50 miles to do so.
Michael Hurley
Impresario
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Re:Price of Gas vs. Movie Ticket Sales 28 Dec 2010 14:40 #35044

  • muviebuf
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I believe that all discretionary spending will take a hit if gas hits $5.00 a gallon in the next year or so:

http://money.cnn.com/2010/12/27/markets/oil_commodities/
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Re:Price of Gas vs. Movie Ticket Sales 29 Dec 2010 15:09 #35060

  • elvislvr
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Could also mean that people will stay closer to home and visit their neighborhood cinema and go where the ticket prices are reasonably priced.
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Re:Price of Gas vs. Movie Ticket Sales 29 Dec 2010 16:31 #35061

  • sevstar
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Over the years we have found that higher gas prices were good for business.
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Re: Price of Gas vs. Movie Ticket Sales 19 Apr 2011 18:50 #35786

  • muviebuf
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This summer there will be more sequels than ever before

Fast 5
Pirates 4
Hangover 2
Panda 2
X-Men 5
Cars 2
Transformers 3
Harry Potter 7.2
Apes 7

You have to ask yourself (at least I do) with gas fast approaching $4.00 a gallon nationwide (and likely to stay there) will the public be willing to shell out $9 to $10 for a first run ticket (before 3D upcharges) for the same old carp recycled yet once again?
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Re: Price of Gas vs. Movie Ticket Sales 19 Apr 2011 19:09 #35787

  • revrobor
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Do any of you ever think of reducing your ticket prices? I managed a single-screener in a small town back in '06 and the admission was (and still is) .99 cents. I never lacked business and would take in about $2 grand on a Saturday (not bad for a 248 seat house). Many of my customers would wait the 4 to 6 weeks after the break to watch the film at my house. The nearest competition was 30 miles away.
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Re: Price of Gas vs. Movie Ticket Sales 20 Apr 2011 11:09 #35793

  • lionheart
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I thought about it, Bob. The problem for me was that if it didn't improve the bottom line, I felt it would be hard to raise the prices back up. That, and when I was in business management classes in college, I remember the instructor saying that it is always very difficult to compete on price alone. It works for some, but not for many. It's a slippery slope. You have to differentiate yourself in some other way to maintain the perception of good value. I was a dollar cheaper than my competition already, and I was the local choice. I provided solid picture and sound in comfortable, attractive surroundings. I offered some different concession choices. These are the ways I chose to differentiate my theater from others. Did it work? I believe we were building a customer base, but didn't have the resources to make it through the first few years it takes to build a business. Sigh. Maybe someone else would like to buy my theater and try to operate it as a discount house, then report back here on the results.

lionheart
owner- Gentry Cinema
Checotah, OK
(for sale)
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Re: Price of Gas vs. Movie Ticket Sales 21 Apr 2011 14:36 #35806

  • muviebuf
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Bernake's QE2 keeps flooding the market with newly printed dollars driving our dollar into the toilet. Why? Because it makes our exports cheaper for the overseas markets. More exports = more jobs. And everyone in the current administration knows without better jobs numbers Obama will be a one term president. So the mandate is jobs at all costs.

So what is the result of the falling dollar? Investors are fleeing to commodities driving up the price of gold, gas and food. We are awash in gas and still the price continues skyward>


LOOK OUT BOYS HERE IT COMES:

$6 Dollar Gas By Summer

Weak Dollar To Continue
Last Edit: 21 Apr 2011 19:18 by muviebuf. Reason: Add additional link
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Re: Price of Gas vs. Movie Ticket Sales 21 Apr 2011 15:25 #35807

  • rodeojack
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revrobor wrote:
Do any of you ever think of reducing your ticket prices? I managed a single-screener in a small town back in '06 and the admission was (and still is) .99 cents. I never lacked business

My experience with discounting is based, to a great extent, on a market you're familiar with, Bob.

Back in the Moyer/Act III days, the old Holiday Twin (Bremerton, WA) went discount. For a short time, the place was packed every night. Eventually however, people tired of the old movies and misbehaving patrons and the theatre closed. There was nowhere else to go for them, now that people were accustomed to nearly free movies and having to deal with unruly patrons. I tried discounting at the Charleston, with similar results.

While some may have made the concept work, My opinion is that people respect the products they buy, to a large degree, based on what they paid to obtain it... so long as that price isn't also seen as gouging. So, there's your gray area, which probably varies, depending on what part of the country you're in.

I also found that deep discounting rarely, if ever produces enough extra customers to make up for the difference. You may get more people, but you likely won't make substantially more money over the long haul. You WILL work harder for what you make, considering wear & tear, cleanup & concession management.

I know there are those here who have made discounting work, but my impression is that it took a long time for them to get to where it was productive for all. It seems to me that starting a new business that way would be unlikely so succeed unless you had lots of money in the bank.

Better to build an image of value for what you charge, IMHO.
Last Edit: 21 Apr 2011 15:25 by rodeojack.
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Re: Price of Gas vs. Movie Ticket Sales 22 Apr 2011 23:15 #35815

  • genedo
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Movie Tickets

Surprisingly enough, when adjusted for inflation, movie tickets have remained pretty steady for the last forty years. An average movie ticket cost about $1.22 in 1967. When you calculate for inflation, that comes to about $7.88. Average ticket prices in the US last year had just hit $8.01.
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