retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

This one comes right from MNB’s Department of Metaphorology…

The Los Angeles Times reports this morning that movie theatre giant AMC “is spotlighting a select set of ‘character- and narrative-driven movies’ through a new marketing and programming initiative in some of its U.S. theaters … The program, dubbed AMC Artisan Films, will seek to boost certain movies that might have trouble gaining traction as moviegoers increasingly choose well-known brands, such as Marvel Studios and Pixar, over midbudget dramas, comedies and quirky independent fare. The dominance of movies such as Avengers: Endgame has made it tough for critically acclaimed pictures such as Booksmart and Late Night to get oxygen at the local multiplex…”

I’m completely in favor of such an initiative, though I’m a little skeptical about its ability to have a sustained impact on the movie business; all these companies are public, and investors will argue that if showing an Avengers movie is best for the bottom line, then show Avengers on as many screens as possible.

But … this is a shortsighted view. Businesses - whether retailers or theatres - are best served by a robust and diverse selection of products that are not always the same as what everybody else is selling. It requires patience and nurturing and some education of the customers.

How about offering a discount ticket to Booksmart to people who buy full-price tickets to the latest Avengers movie? This would be the same as giving a coupon for a new specialty food product to people buying a more traditional version … it allows for the opportunity to trade people up, which theoretically is good for everybody.

I hope AMC gets it done, and that it works. It may prove to be an Eye-Opener to a lot more businesses.
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