> Cineworld: Listen Up…..

Cineworld: Listen Up…..

Posted on Sunday, March 8, 2009 | No Comments

Cineworld, listen up!


How can you justify increasing your “Unlimited” card prices again?  Especially in these uncertain economic times.


I love going to the cinema as much as the next person, the atmosphere, the lights, the darkness, the big screen, the trailers and the magic of believing that just about anything can and will happen in a cinema.  The “Unlimited” card is a God send for those who wish to sample and reach out to touch that Hollywood magic and enter these alternate worlds of fantasy and make-believe.  But the price increases are all wrong.


I signed up for the “Unlimited” card at £9.99 a month.  A bargain price – it permitted me to see as many movies as I wanted for a pre-set price.  If I saw three or four movies one month and not a single one the next, I didn’t feel cheated or upset about paying the money.  Similarly when the price went up to £11.99 a month, I was equally as happy to pay the price for my slice of cinema gold.


The latest price increase however, is all wrong.  £13.50 a month (that’s £162 a year)!  Yikes!  Just what are you thinking Cineworld?  I realise that the economy is bad right now and making money to cover all of those costs that were spiralling out of control and not a problem during the happy pre-crunch days, but is increasing prices really the answer?  Really?


Hollywood and the film industry is going through one of the toughest times at the moment, not only is movie piracy eating into their profits and investments in future productions, but the platform and medium on how films are delivered is on the bubble of change.  Seeing a film is no longer a ‘treat’, its something that can be done by anyone at any time of the day, simply by firing up Sky Movies, using the Sky Anytime multi-start channels or pre-recording to Sky Plus services.  On-demand movies from iTunes and iPlayer like services are also starting to find their feet, meaning customers aren’t going to leave their comfy sofas and large LCD TVs to go to a cinema, full of coughing people who rattle sweetie papers too loudly and get over charged for coca-cola and popcorn.


DVDs and Blu-Ray are too easily obtained, watched and then sold on via eBay channels once watched and illegal downloading of movies is still the number one concern for film distributors – hence the reason why it makes absolutely no sense to me why they continue to show adverts against piracy and theft to those who have bought a ticket and are supporting our local cinemas.


These are the times when attracting customers is the biggest challenge to any business, not the time when you should be alienating them and making them turn away to look seriously at the alternatives.  Lower the price of popcorn and drinks, offer promotions, re-structure the bar, offer food, but don’t increase the price of a movie ticket!

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