Got a free weeknight? Going to the movies may soon become a more affordable option. Last year, US movie theaters sold 1.34 billion tickets, down 1.5% from the year before. And ticket sales dropped 11% between 2004 and 2013, the Motion Picture Association of America reported yesterday. To combat the trend, theaters are mulling a coordinated move: They may drop ticket prices on one weeknight a week, the Wall Street Journal reports. The National Association of Theatre Owners plans to try it out in one state this year.
Which night will be cheap night isn't yet clear. The move would run counter to theaters' current habit of raising prices each year—a trend which has resulted in higher revenues despite lower ticket sales. Last year, for instance, the average ticket price was $8.13, up from $7.96 in 2012. Box-office sales, meanwhile, hit $10.9 billion, compared to $10.8 billion in 2012. The cheap-day system "has worked for years in Latin America and Canada," says theater owners association head John Fithian, per Deadline. Studios will have to agree to the plan, he notes—and the industry has feared that lowering prices one day a week will lead to people opting not to pay the higher weekend price, Mashable points out.