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Oz Hoyts to cut tix prices in September

Goes mano-a-mano for moola vs. Olympics

SYDNEY — Unwilling to surrender September to the rival attraction of the Sydney Olympics, Hoyts Cinemas, one of Australia’s top three circuits, is counterattacking by slashing ticket prices at all its cinemas for that month.

Hoyts CEO Paul Johnson told Daily Variety that all ducats for all sessions at Hoyts’ 331 screens nationwide will be cut to $A8.50 ($5) starting Aug. 31.

The regular top price is $8.08 in the wake of an increase of around 9%. That came into effect July 1, when the government imposed a 10% goods and services tax.

Hoyts’ ploy, to be marketed as “Super September,” will probably surprise its two major rivals, Village Cinemas and Greater Union, and could force both to offer matching reductions or risk losing market share.

“We feel that with the Olympics and school holidays in September, this is a great opportunity to make cinemagoing attractive,” Johnson said.

Hoyts fixed that price point after encouraging attendance at its cinemas on Tuesdays, when tickets go for $5.12.

Hoyts’ initiative will coincide with the launch of “Scary Movie” and apply to such September releases as “Big Momma’s House,” the “Pokemon” sequel and “The Road to Eldorado.”

Move may also help generate in-season business for “Hollow Man” and “Road Trip,” which both launch Thursday.

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