Originally Posted by FilmMixer
All good points, but I think a couple of them are debatable.
I don't think there is any huge amount of consumer awareness about Atmos.
And I don't think there is any viable data to support the notion that it helps sell tickets in a meaningful way..
I only know of a few of us geeks that will go out of their way to hear it.
Luckily, it has been packaged with other upgrades, like reserved seating, large screen presentations, etc... I'm not sure if and of itself it would be a draw.. that is what I think keeps people coming.
Of course I'm a huge fan of it (and any other tools that give us more freedom in telling stories through sound...) But I understand the realistic nature of show "business."
I will say that it has been a great tool for exhibitors to help them create their own IMAX like experience (digital, not film, based IMAX...) Look at AMC's ETX and Prime as, well, prime examples of upgrades that justify the ticket price... and the exhibs don't have to pay a royalty to IMAX nor pay the additional concession "tax" IMAX gets...
One of the things that i do, that really erases all the "bullsh&&" during the construction/redesign process, is to be at a theater(s) opening night. To be with the people and hear there comments. A Hollywood executive suggested this to me.
When you hear a bunch of excited 11 year old's at the box office window with there parents shouting "Get Atmos tickets, Get Atmos tickets!" That pretty much tells me, it's a home run for Dolby and all those involved in the process. And when you are in the house and the action is going on screen and you see people look up and comment's like "Oh my God! I thought the roof was falling down!" It makes you smile to be apart of that, even if it was not your ideal.
Atmos, Auro-3D, IMAX, and other IMAX encroaching large screen's. Is a way to sell thickets. It is what separates Commercial cinema from Home Theater.
IMAX, as it's own format, has always charged for it's use. The Hollywood studios approached IMAX, not the other way around. That gave, and still does give IMAX leverage in contracts.
For example, a theater without a large over head, there matinee price is $5.50. The theater keeps $0.50 of every ticket sold the first three weeks of the film and relies solely on concession sales. Week 4 see's the theater getting $1.50 per ticket. Week 5 $2.50 per ticket. Week 6 $3.50 per ticket. And before the film leaves the theater it is getting $5.00 from every ticket sale. By that time people are seeing other new releases, so that film is not drawing a huge profit to still being showed.
Now take a premium Atmos, large screen, 4K, Laser, whatever. There ticket price for the same movie at there matinee price is $12.50 per ticket. All the other mechanisms still apply, however this theater is getting $7.50 from every ticket sale. But, unlike the other theater, the premium theater offers more screens, mover food choices, lobby and auditorium ushers, projectionist on site, etc. But, still this extra money is going back into services offered, so in effect the premium theater is making no more than the cheaper theater on ticket sales. But, on the concession sales it is tripling the cheaper theater because it offers a fry grill or whatever.
Not advancing with the times has shut down plenty of cinemas in this country. There is plenty of pools and research to back that statement up. The head of the theater owners association made a statement awhile back, "If your not going Digital, your going out of business." I think this can be applied to all the new products coming out, including Atmos.