Movie theater chains are used to periodic clashes as new technologies change the media landscape. They faced the rise of video rental stores in the 80s, the arrival of DVD in the 90s, the video on demand (VOD) of cable television in the early 2000s, and now to the vast choices offered by streaming services.

This year, however, cinemas are discovering how technology can also be an ally.

The illuminating issues facing cinemas as the pandemic slowly fades, a Gallup poll released in January revealed that “Americans watched an average of 1.4 movies in a theater over the past 12 months. This includes a historically high rate of 61% who have not visited a cinema at all, 31% who have seen between one and four films and 9% who have seen five or more.

“While the three in five Americans who haven’t gone to the movies in the past 12 months are likely bloated due to the pandemic, the industry is grappling with the fact that the habits Americans have fallen into at the house can be an obstacle to obtaining them. back in theaters when the pandemic ends,” Gallup said.

Compounded by a slight pipeline of new films in 2022 due to production shutdowns, cinema chains are joining the connected economy in every way to attract moviegoers.

AMC takes the lead connected

AMC is currently leading the connected load, teaming up with virtual reality (VR) concert platform AmazeVR last year to create an immersive experience starring Megan Thee Stallion and release in theaters specially equipped with motion seats. haptics and a metaverse experience available via virtual reality at home. helmets.

See also: AMC wants to turn its movie theaters into virtual concert halls

AMC announced Tuesday (March 1) that it is testing a new variable pricing model with the theatrical premiere of “The Batman” franchise reboot opening in theaters Friday (March 4).

Read more: AMC tests variable prices with higher tickets for “The Batman”

Speaking to analysts on his fourth quarter 2021 earnings call on Tuesday, AMC’s chief financial officer Sean Bonman noted that attendance at large-format offerings like IMAX and Dolby Cinema has grown year over year, indicating customers are willing to pay extra for a cinematic experience they can’t get at home.

“This reflects our customers who increasingly want to experience going to the cinema as a special immersive event, and so they are increasingly choosing to upgrade to the best possible visual and sound experiences,” he said. he declares.

Seeking revenue streams outside of its theater, the channel said in a November Press release that it would start selling popcorn in stand-alone malls this year — as well as offering popcorn and other treats through food delivery platforms. The plan calls for up to five AMC Theaters Perfectly Popcorn stores, counters and kiosks in malls nationwide in the first half of 2022, with up to 15 by the end of the year and even more expansion in coming years.

In another connected economy move, AMC CEO Adam Aron tweeted February 28, “This might get the cryptocurrency fans among you excited. AMC IT says BitPay will be live for AMC Online Payments on our website by March 19 and on our mobile apps by March 16 April Maybe a few days earlier BitPay, and therefore soon AMC, accepts Dogecoin and Shiba Inu.

See also: ‘No time to die’ – but plenty of time to buy 007 tickets and merch

Regal goes fully immersive, MoviePass 2.0 reboots

Meanwhile, Regal Cinemas continues its partnership with CJ 4DPLEX cinema technology company, using its immersive 4DX and ScreenX technologies. The 4DX system creates an authentic atmosphere, as auditoriums are equipped with motion seats and environmental controls that simulate lightning, rain, fog and strong odors.

ScreenX is described in a Press release as “the world’s first multi-projection cinema with an immersive 270-degree field of view. By expanding the image beyond the frame and onto the theater walls, ScreenX places the audience directly at the center of the story, creating a visually immersive viewing experience like no other.

Back with a new CEO Stacey Spikes and connecting more moviegoers with more flexible options, MoviePass 2.0 launched in February with a new pricing model that CNET likened “to a more credit-based market” and with new connected features allowing “theaters to set different prices for off-peak hours, … let the credits roll and … also allow advertising partnerships where customers can earn more credits by watching advertisements.

Spikes presented the MoviePass 2.0 vision on February 22 Video presentation.

Last summer, AT&T and Cinemark joined forces for a connected theater experience coinciding with the release of “Space Jam: A New Legacy” with 5G technology.

“As moviegoers approach the screen, Bugs Bunny & Friends encourages fans to scan the QR code, which will take them to a secure website to select the characters they want in the image,” said one. Press release declared. “After entering an email and phone number to receive a copy of the photo, fans are invited to pose, and characters will come in and take a photo. The photo will have a personalized Cinemark hashtag and will be sent to moviegoers.

Read also: MoviePass agrees to implement data security protocols to settle FTC complaint



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