The Dark Knight isn’t just responsible for saving Gotham City, but the movie industry as well.
Over the weekend, moviegoers dished an additional $1 to $2 to see Robert Pattinson beat up goons and solve crimes in Warner Bros.’s latest flick starring the caped crusader, The Batman. The United States’ biggest movie theater chain, AMC Entertainment, announced charging those heading to theaters to watch the latest superhero film. Based on the box office returns, no one cared, despite AMC not sharing any breakdowns of ticket sales versus attendance metrics.
AMC took a giant gamble on The Batman, and it paid off with the film raking $128 million during its opening weekend, making it the second-biggest opening during the pandemic (yes, that is still a thing), placing right behind Spider-Man: No Way Home. So, if you think about it, Spider-Man and now Batman has single handily have safe the day for the still struggling movie industry.
If you’re wondering if this new practice to charge extra for blockbuster films will become a thing, some analysts believe that will be the case. You can expect the same for future films like Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness.
Box office analysts say yes, incrementally increasing prices may be the new normal, at least when it comes to big blockbusters. Theater operators have long wanted to test a range of ticket prices, and the ongoing pandemic became the catalyst to finally get creative. In fact, it may have begun earlier than people realized. Privately, insiders wondered why AMC announced the move with such fanfare because Regal Cinemas and Cinemark Theatres, the No. 2 and No. 3 chains, have already quietly jacked up prices, starting with “Spider-Man: No Way Home” last December.
That means moviegoers should expect to cough up extra to watch Jared Leto’s anti-hero adventure “Morbius” (April 1), Marvel’s “Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness” (May 6), “Top Gun: Maverick” (May 27), “Jurassic World Dominion” (June 10) and other big-budget tentpoles slated to release in theaters over summer and beyond. For movie theaters, it’s a way to offset stagnant attendance levels as they attempt to claw their way out of pandemic-related wreckage.
Some are even charging the higher ticket prices to the country’s current battle with inflation adding movie tickets to the growing list of items that have become a tad bit more expensive.
Whatever the case, we don’t think $1 or $2 more is going to keep comic book movie fanatics out of theaters. We’re curious to see if this idea works for the other movies involving DC or Marvel superheroes.
Photo: Jonathan Olley & © DC Comics / The Batman