Keeping Movie Theaters Alive in a Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every sector of business, but perhaps no industry has been as deeply impacted as the entertainment industry. With the lack of live sports, virtually no concerts having been scheduled, and very limited seating for other events, entertainment venues have struggled to stay afloat during the crisis. Regal theaters remain closed, while it narrowly avoided bankruptcy by taking on loans. AMC Cinemas, Regal’s largest competitor, has meanwhile remained open in highly limited capacity in those states where it can operate and has recently threatened that it could go into bankruptcy without a cash infusion. This news came at a time when theaters were dealt a crucial blow, with Warner Bros stating that all of its films for 2021 would launch on the popular streaming platform HBO Max the same day the films are released in theaters. 

While many theaters have attempted to increase ticket prices and concessions prices in order to stay alive, theaters will likely need to get much more creative if they wish to survive 2021. That may be where TixTrack comes in.  TixTrack’s recent U.S. Patent Pub. No. 20200380427 covers methods for determining optimal methods to sell clusters of seats within a venue while maintaining social distancing. The application mentions ways to use smart price discrimination methods in order to maximize revenue. TixTrack, which was only founded back in 2009, already boasts a large number of notable clients, including Cirque du Soleil, the NCAA, and a number of college and professional sports franchises. 

Major theater chains, such as Regal and AMC, may represent a lucrative licensing opportunity for TixTrack, as those companies look for any and all methods to maximize cash flow by both optimizing the number of people who can fit in a theater and extracting more revenue from each attendee. Theaters are no stranger to price discrimination schemes, as discounts for a variety of personal factors and different pricing for matinee showings remain industry standards. Being able to add a few cents or a dollar to a ticket price based on location within the theater or based on volume discounts in certain seating areas could help offset some of the losses theaters are experiencing right now. 

For more updates on technological solutions to maintaining businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, check out our free Patent Forecast® for Pandemics.

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