Variable-priced movie tickets: Now, everyone seems to be talking about it. Is a change now an inevitability? ---
A few weeks ago, I wrote a column recommending variable-priced movie tickets -- a move away from the one-price-fits-all model currently employed by movie theaters -- as a possible remedy for the attendance dip currently plaguing the North American box office. Today, Los Angeles Times columnist David Lazarus describes a model for how that might work: a technology being launched by Ticketmaster to raise or lower prices for concerts and sporting events based on demand. Lazarus identifies psychological components that may complicate the picture -- nobody likes the idea that they might have paid more than the person sitting next to them for the same show -- yet the structure seems to be about as fundamentally American as it gets. Even the plummeting per-seat totals for Atlas Shrugged, Part 1 could get a boost from having the market decide what admission is worth.
With every passing weekend, and every passing year-to-year dip in tickets sold, it feels as though the concept makes more and more sense. It's coming, film industry. You can either jump on board, or die resisting.