NEW YORK, Nov. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- UNITED KINGDOM
Although the cinema industry is beset with a number of negative trends, judiciousinvestment is holding their effects at bay. The chief problems are an agingpopulation and the high rents and squeezed incomes of many youngerconsumers. The chief antidotes have been investment in attractive new screens,whether the giant screen formats aimed at inspiring attendance among youngerviewers, luxury boutique cinemas aimed at older consumers, or family-orientedcinemas in smaller catchment areas, which are bringing cinema back tocommunities from which it has, in some cases, long been absent. While bigscreens make the news, the underlying story is actually one of progressivelysmaller auditoria. Between 2010 and 2015 the number of active cinema screensin the UK grew by over 10%; by contrast, the increase in seat numbers was lessthan 1%, from 777,000 to 784,000.The other story, of course, is progressively higher pricing.
With 3D nowweakening as a source of ticket price uplifts, other uplifts are emerging, notablysupplements for blockbuster films. While there is some logic to this, especiallywhere there is a genuine and widespread anticipation in relation to particularfilms – and the latest addition to the Star Wars franchise could hardly have fittedthe bill better – an element of consumer confusion and scepticism is clearly adanger. A quick glance at one local cinema reveals 48 different price categoriesfor the current week, excluding the effect of add-ons such as for 3D and VIPseats, special discounts as under the Meerkat Movies scheme, or the individuallyset prices for cinema events such as opera. However, new pricing strategiesdelivered an increase in average ticket prices of a shade under 7% in 2015compared to a rise in the Consumer Prices Index of 0.2%.
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