Anticipation is high for The Batman, the new live-action incarnation of the caped crusader from director Matt Reeves (War for the Planet of the Apes) starring Robert Pattinson and Zoë Kravitz. So high, in fact, that AMC Theatres has begun experimenting with higher ticket prices for some of the year’s biggest blockbusters, starting with the Dark Knight’s latest outing.
AMC CEO Adam Aron revealed this decision on Tuesday, telling investors that the company would be bringing “variable pricing” (i.e. demand-based pricing) to its chain of theaters. “AMC has been a bold thinker in the area of pricing,” Aron said. “One who is willing to take risk and one who is willing to lead and one who sees considerable upside opportunity for us ahead if we continue to be imaginative.”
Variable pricing is far from a new idea, particularly in European theaters, but nonetheless one that US movie houses have long resisted except in the case of matinees and a few other exceptions. But with movie theaters still struggling to grow and maintain attendance in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, AMC’s move to implement demand-based pricing appears to be an attempt to counteract this.
The Batman is projected to gross more than $100 million in ticket sales in the US and Canada between Thursday and Sunday this weekend. AMC has not yet revealed how much the upcharge for popular films would be, nor what other upcoming titles aside from The Batman would be subject to variable pricing.