In a potentially significant move, the new octogenarian comedy 80 for Brady is rewriting the playbook by offering lower ticket prices. The bold experiment comes at a time when theater owners and Hollywood studios are grappling with how to win back older moviegoers in the wake of the pandemic and the rise of streaming. Paramount opens the pic everywhere on Friday.
AMC Theatres, the world’s largest circuit, announced this week it’s extending its matinee ticket pricing to all screenings of 80 for Brady in a first-ever promotion for a new title. That could mean a discount of 25 percent to 30 percent — if not more — depending upon the location and the format. An evening screening of 80 for Brady will be $12.89 instead of $18.49 at the AMC Century 15 in Los Angeles, for example (even the cheapest ticket is always much higher in L.A. and New York City).
Cinemark Theatres and Regal Cinemas, the country’s other two largest circuits, are also extending matinee pricing in many instances, according to insiders. Ditto for midrange circuits such as Harkins. Other large chains, including Cineplex, are piggybacking on the movie’s title and offering $8 tickets for any and all showings.
80 for Brady stars Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno and Sally Field as four lifelong friends who are determined to travel to the 2017 Super Bowl and meet their hero, famed New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Paramount Pictures made the sports comedy in association with Fifth Season.
A studio isn’t allowed to tell a cinema operator what to charge. In the case of 80 for Brady, Paramount instead presented research to exhibitors showing that older consumers are interested in value pricing. These findings are bolstered by the amount of business adult-skewing pics A Man Called Otto and Ticket to Paradise did on “discount Tuesdays.” (Every Tuesday, movie ticket prices are slashed across the country).
Studios and exhibitors have long grappled with how to increase actual movie attendance. While ever-higher ticket prices can can lead to record revenue levels, it doesn’t mean more people are going to the cinema.
In parts of Europe, some theater owners have employed variable pricing for non-blockbuster fare in order to boost foot traffic. Movie theaters in the U.S., however, have avoided such pricing out of concern it could signal that a film is somehow flawed. The 80 for Brady promotion will test both sides of the argument.
The comedy opens just one week before the Super Bowl championship game, and just days after Brady announced for a second time that he is retiring (this time for real). He makes an appearance in 80 for Brady, and produced the film.
80 for Brady opens opposite M. Night Shyamalan’s Knock at the Cabin.