The Batman is finally arriving in theaters, and fans are eager to see DC’s latest take on Gotham’s caped crusader. Unfortunately, that excitement has been marred by frustration for many. That’s because AMC is charging slightly more for tickets to the much-anticipated Batman film. That could become the norm — and moviegoers aren’t pleased.
AMC testing new pricing model with ‘The Batman’
It’s no secret that movie theater chains are looking for new ways to innovate following the COVID-19 pandemic. And it seems AMC is testing a pricing model that could make tickets to blockbuster films slightly more expensive.
According to Deadline, AMC is trying out a “variable pricing” approach with The Batman. The outlet reports that AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron discussed this experiment during a webcast.
“Currently, our prices for The Batman are slightly higher than the prices we are charging for other movies playing in the same theaters at the same time,” Aron explained.
Aron added that the company already utilizes this model in Europe, reasoning that it resembles what venues do for sporting events and live performances:
“This is all quite novel in the United States, but actually AMC has been doing it for years in our European theaters. Indeed, in Europe we charge a premium for the best seats in the house — as do just about all sellers of tickets in other industries — take sports events, concerts and live theater, for example.”
Even so, it’s a significant change of pace from the way movie theaters have operated in the U.S. And The Batman fans have taken to the internet to vent their frustrations with the concept.
‘The Batman’ fans aren’t thrilled with the development
Following the revelation that AMC would boost ticket prices for The Batman, moviegoers went online to vent. Some expressed their displeasure on Twitter, while others discussed the implications of such a pricing model on Reddit.
Many were exasperated by the notion that they’d have to search for the best prices when going to the movies — although they did seem willing to do that over paying extra money. Several also questioned such a strategy when the pandemic has left swaths of people wondering if they should return to theaters at all.
“They apparently have forgotten that many of us are already reluctant to go [into] a theater,” one Redditor wrote. “Why not discourage us even more!”
Additionally, fans threatened to wait for the film to come to streaming. With shorter windows before new releases arrive on Digital, that strategy could negatively impact theaters if enough moviegoers utilize it.
It’s unclear whether such backlash will impact AMC’s decision when it comes to using this pricing strategy in the future. Assuming The Batman does well, AMC could continue charging higher prices for blockbusters. How might that impact the moviegoing experience overall?
Could AMC continue this stragegy for future blockbusters?
Despite outrage about AMC’s potential new pricing model, it could become the norm for blockbusters releasing after The Batman. The fact that the company is experimenting with this film suggests it’s thinking about making this a more regular occurrence.
Given the demand for releases like Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the shift seems unlikely to impact sales in a hugely significant way.
Some have also questioned whether this model might help smaller, lesser-known films. After all, those looking to see any movie might opt for the cheaper option — meaning indie releases could see a jump in traffic.
For now, AMC Entertainment hasn’t said much else about its pricing. Moviegoers will have to wait and see what the company decides to do.
The Batman hits theaters on March 4, 2022.