A Melbourne-based start-up will next month launch an app which allows audiences to access cheap movie tickets to sessions and films in low demand.
Standard ticket prices for movies in Australian capital city cinemas are now sitting consistently above $20, up to well above $25 for certain sessions. But the vast majority of available cinema tickets in Australia go unsold each year.
The new app Choovie is designed to change that trend, allowing audiences to find out where they might be able to access cheaper tickets. Users can select the film they want to see and find out when and where they can see the film for the lowest price.
The co-founders of the app, Sonya Stephen and Shane Thatcher, believe those prices might be putting off audiences from taking a chance on films that don’t have genuine blockbuster status behind them.
They believe that while people are willing to pay up to $25 for the latest Marvel blockbuster, they mightn’t be willing to fork out that kind of cash on a new indie film.
Much like ride-sharing service Uber, and many other apps, Choovie employs demand-based pricing. But unlike Uber, which imposes surges in times of high-demand, Choove will allow users to access discounts in times of low-demand.
Boutique chain Dendy, which has two cinemas in Sydney, one in Canberra and another in Brisbane, is one of the first to join the service. Choovie says they will be rolling out across 100 cinema screens along Australia’s east coast.
It’s difficult to tell the effect the app might have on smaller, niche films and the local industry, particularly if more chains participate and the app becomes popular with audiences. It may well be that films struggling at the box office gain larger audiences attracted to lower prices. Word-of-mouth may then give those films a longer life in cinemas.
Alternatively, it might turn out that pressure to slash ticket prices results in lower profile films taking in significantly less at the box office.
Choovie will launch at the end of March.