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#790: The Future Is Ours, Part Five

March 22, 2013

Notes from the Manager

Related Strips: #786: The Future Is Ours, Part One; #787: The Future Is Ours, Part Two; #788: The Future Is Ours, Part Three; #789: The Future Is Ours, Part Four

I’m being purposefully vague about the numbers here, because the reality is a little more complicated than even my wordiest strips could possibly cover. Roger Ebert explains it in pretty general terms here, but the gist of it is, the lion’s share of the ticket price goes to the film distributor for new releases. Over time, that percentage gets bigger, but of course, attendance for most films is pretty front-loaded.

That’s why candy, popcorn, and soda cost so damned much at movie theaters: it’s where they make their profit. So the point Jason is making here is that rather than show a movie they know will sell, maybe, ten tickets, they spend a few hundred extra on renting an old film print (or “virtual print”) that hopefully a hundred people or so will want to see, making a small profit (or more likely breaking even) on the film rental, but adding to the concessions sales in the process. (It’s worth noting that the general manager of a theater — i.e. Norma — also gets bonuses based on concessions sales.)

Anyway. See you Monday!


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