Too bad, film fans. Half-price movie tickets on Tuesdays have gone the way of the dodo. After an eight-week experiment, Universal Pictures chairman Thomas Pollock has given up his solo attempt to soften the impact of spiraling ticket prices.
While MCA/Universal’s 49 percent-owned theater chain, Cineplex Odeon, says it experienced a ”100 percent” increase in attendance on Tuesday nights after adopting a half-price policy for Universal features, other exhibitors and distributors feared the change would simply shift dollars away from weekend takes. Although California’s Edwards Theater Circuit chain has succeeded with its own Tuesday- or Wednesday-night discounts (half-price Tuesday nights are also widespread in Canada), the biggest U.S. chains — and the other major studios — refused to adopt Pollock’s plan. ”It doesn’t work if there’s only one guy out there,” says the disappointed Pollock.
”His idea didn’t fly because it was a bad idea,” says one rival studio distribution chief. ”Prices don’t get people into theaters; movies do. You couldn’t pay people to go see Newsies.”
But Pollock still wants to find a way to win back movie lovers who feel tickets have become too pricey. ”There’s a problem I was not able to influence this time,” he says. ”Hopefully we’ll come up with a better way.”