Why ‘Barbie’ tickets aren’t more expensive 2023
Both Oppenheimer and Barbie are so popular that tickets sell out days or even weeks in advance. This is great for Hollywood, but it raises questions for economists. Why aren’t ticket prices going up to sort out the market and avoid waiting times.
But it turns out there’s a good explanation for why ticket prices aren’t going up. Before we get to the point, I’d like to clear up a few misconceptions.
First, there is the idea that movie theaters don’t care about long queues because they will sell you tickets for your second choice movie if your first choice is sold out. With the advent of online ticket sales, that logic no longer applies.
When you find out online that Barbie dolls are sold out, you can just stay home because you’re not in a physical theater. Nor is the argument that long lines help movies as much as they do restaurants by adding buzz.
The idea that either Barbie or Oppenheimer need more buzz is dubious to say the least. An even more important factor behind static pricing has to do with social media. Theaters and studios alike want to attract customers to discuss movies in person with friends or on social media. They also want clients who want to build a cult of sorts by watching the movie over and over again.