SYDNEY — Australian exhibs are offering further discounts to entice customers, aiming to arrest a slump which has seen ticket sales nationally fall by about 17% from last year.
Village Cinemas’ latest initiative in Victoria last week was a 3-day sale of 200,000 half-price tickets, valid for any pic within 7-10 days.
In February, Village, Greater Union and Hoyts Cinemas cut their Tuesday ducats to $A5 ($4) from the already discounted $7.60.
U.S.-owned indie Reading countered by offering half-price tix to its 18 cinemas around Australia for each Tuesday in March.
“Tuesdays are doing very well,” says Village managing director John Iozzi. “There has been some re-distribution (of biz from Mondays and Wednesdays), but we’re seeing real evidence of growth.”
Iozzi says he will review pricing in the coming week and decide whether to extend the $4 offer, modify or drop it.
Reading’s director of operations Ian Sands says he’ll look at extending the offer (which means most tickets are priced at $5.80, and $2.80 for pensioners) if it’s successful.
UIP’s managing director Mike Selwyn says, “We need to stimulate the days when trading is very soft and bring back the true discount audience while safeguarding the days that do very well.”