Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pricing at the IMAX and Silver Spring Econ #1

Just blocks from my house is a 20 screen movie theater, The Majestic, which just added an IMAX screen. Silver Spring Singular (a local blog) has a really great break down of some of the pricing for the IMAX screen (link).

For adults regular movies are $11 and IMAX are $17.50. We shouldn't be surprised by this the IMAX is according to most a better movie experience. Further there are fewer IMAX screen in the area then regular movie screens so competition is lower. The Majestic has a local monopoly on IMAX (the closest ones being about 30-40 minutes away).

Next as Singular points out for regular movies there are cheaper prices during the day, but not for IMAX it is $17.50 regardless of when you want to see the movie. Cheaper prices for matinée is what economists call price discrimination. The different prices allow the Majestic to get the most ticket sales depending on the demand for the time of day, it also allows the theater to attract cheap skates to the early show.

Finally, the convienance fee for printing your tickets at home for the IMAX is $2 compared to $1.25 for a regular movie. My guess is that people who are willing to see the IMAX are likely doing it for a special event (like the opening of Harry Potter) and probably willing to pay more to reserve a ticket. It could also be that as Singular puts it the people going to IMAX are "just rich as hell and don't give a damn"

Silver Spring Singular is a great local blog, but other local blogs haven't been posting as much. Perhaps I can add to the discussion about Silver Spring. I'm going to try to do some more Economics of Silver Spring (I realize this post wasn't too original) hopefully I can find things that both Silver Spring residents and non-residents find interesting. I'll be tagging the posts with Silver Spring Econ.

Final thought. Just one block further from the Majestic is the American Film Institute, where for $17.50 I can get a ticket, a beer, and a small popcorn. I'm guessing I'll do that more than go to the IMAX.

Bookmark and Share


Braden said...

Cheaper prices for matinée is what economists call price description.

Discrimination, neh?

Seth Gitter said...

Thanks for pointing that out, it has been corrected.