Young moviegoers more likely to pay more for good seats: survey

A group of cheerful people laugh while watching a movie in a cinema.

Zoran Zeremski | source | Getty Images

A new study has found that young moviegoers don’t mind paying extra to watch movies on the big screen if it means they can get better seats in the house.

Survey by Morning Consultfound that 54% of Gen Z ticket buyers and 46% of millennials consider dynamic pricing, a strategy used in concert halls that charge higher fees for the most desirable seats in a venue, “appropriate” in theater chains.

According to a survey last week, only 32% of Gen Xers and 22% of Baby Boomers feel the same way. Morning Consult surveyed over 2,200 American adults.

The report comes almost two months after AMC Entertainment announced its plans to introduceLine of sight at AMC”, which will eliminate the approach to selling tickets at a single price. For example, moviegoers who want to sit in the center of the room will pay a few dollars more, while those who choose the front row will pay a few dollars. less.

The initiative, which initially met with a backlash from consumers, is expected to be rolled out across the country by the end of the year.

AMC representatives did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

“Our data shows that more than half of Americans are skeptical of location-based pricing,” said Salea Blancaflor, media and entertainment reporter for Morning Consult. “But it also shows that younger generations like Gen Z and millennials are interested in going to theaters, whether or not they have to pay a few extra bucks to get those top seats.”

Blancaflor said these young consumers are “extremely interested” in the entertainment they consume and are the ones who buy the majority of concert tickets, which also have dynamic prices. In both generations, more than 50% of respondents said they were willing to pay a few dollars extra for preferred seats.

Meanwhile, only 36% of Gen Xers and 25% of Baby Boomers said they were willing to pay extra.

However, she noted that while the data may give other theater chains the confidence to change their prices, the younger generation does have financial problems and may opt out if this becomes the norm. She also said that cinemas should not ignore the older generation that returned to theaters after the pandemic for films like The Man Named Otto and Brady 80.

“While serving the younger generation is important to the future of cinema, they should also not completely ignore the older generation,” Blancaflor said. “Because they may be missing out on people in those groups who are still interested in going to the theater but may not be open to these new initiatives that may be unfamiliar to them.”

Cinema chains such as Alamo Drafthouse have already said they have no plans to implement dynamic pricing in their theaters.

“We could put more rows in our theaters, but we’re not doing that,” Shelley Taylor, CEO of Alamo Drafthouse, told CNBC last month. “We deliberately sit in every chair and look for the most optimal views. So our front rows are great, we have no reason to discount them.”

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