Do you support cutting cinema ticket prices to 1,500 yen? graph of japanese statisticsWith one of the biggest cinema chains in Japan, Toho Cinemas, announcing that from next month (March 2011) they will cut the price of an adult ticket from 1,800 yen to 1,500 yen, iShare decided it would be a good time to conduct a survey to see what people thought about multiplex ticket prices.


Between the 21st and 24th of January 2011 a mere 284 members of the CLUB BBQ free email forwarding service completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 53.5% of the sample were female, 32.0% in their twenties, 32.4% in their thirties, and 35.6% in their forties. All had watched a movie at a multi-screen theatre, although it would have been useful to see the percentage of people who had been to the cinema.

As I always say, if you’re regularly paying 1,800 yen for the cinema you’d doing it wrong! The first of the month is 1,000 yen, Toho Cinemas have a loyalty card that gives you one free for every six watched, late shows are 1,200 yen or so, advance tickets are usually 1,300 yen, and ticket shops around cinemas often have left-over advance tickets on sale or other discount passes.

I’d like to see them do something about 3D surcharges; Toho Cinemas started off charging 300 yen extra, but last autumn they bumped it up to 400 yen. I’d watch more 3D (actually, I’ve given up now) if it was just 200 yen, or my loyalty card gave me a discount, or if I could buy my own pair.

My next movie will be The King’s Speech, and although I’d be prepared to pay full price for it, I’ll be going on March 1st, 1,000 yen day.

Research results

Q1: The usual price for a cinema ticket is 1,800 yen. How do you feel about that price? (Sample size=284)

  All Male
Very expensive 38.4% 38.6% 38.2%
A little expensive 52.8% 50.0% 55.3%
About right 8.1% 10.6% 5.9%
A little cheap 0.7% 0.8% 0.7%
Very cheap 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

Q2: From March 2011, Toho Cinemas will cut the price for standard adult admission to 1,500 yen. What do you think about this discount? (Sample size=284)

  All Male
Totally support 62.3% 65.9% 59.2%
Support to some extent 34.5% 30.3% 38.2%
Oppose to some extent 2.5% 2.3% 2.6%
Totally oppose 0.7% 1.5% 0.0%

Reasons for being opposed to the 300 yen discount were basically that they wanted it to be even cheaper; one person remembered a time when you could see two movies for 1,800 yen, another wanted the standard price to be 1,000 yen or less, but there was also opinions that independent cinemas could suffer and that movie producers would have less money to spend on productions; note that Toho Cinemas is part of the same group as Toho Pictures, the makers of Godzilla and other movies.

Q3: If the cinema you use were to cut the general admission price to 1,500 yen, do you think you would go to the cinema more often? (Sample size=284)

  All Male
Much more often 5.3% 3.8% 6.6%
A little more often 51.8% 49.2% 53.9%
No more often 43.0% 47.0% 39.5%


DerekNobuyuki Wallace · February 18, 2011 at 02:28

To be honest, I used to see a lot of films in the theatre before moving to Japan but since theatres here offer 50% of the experience for 200% of the price I stopped going.
If they had lower prices they would have gotten a lot more money out of me. Instead, it’s iTunes Movies Rentals.

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