The movie industry is always looking to evolve and bring new ideas to customers to keep them coming back. For many years, simple gestures like reward cards and occasional giveaways were enticing enough to have customers return, but that is apparently not enough. Recent inclusions like assigned seating, alcoholic beverages being served, and nicer chairs have been implemented to try and make movie going more of an eventful evening.
These luxuries are used to try and persuade people that the sometimes lofty ticket prices will be worth it, but really many just want to go to theaters to actually watch the movie. With streaming services becoming more prevalent everyday and discussions ongoing that the wait may not be as long to see these movies at home, theater chains are looking for any possible way to keep people coming to their locations. For one chain, that apparently means building fully functioning jungle gyms inside individual theaters.
LA Times reports that Mexico based theater chain Cinepolis, the fourth largest cinema chain in the world, will soon launch Cinepolis Junior. Inside select auditoriums, actual playgrounds will be built and featured for kids to play on during the movie. The chain is hoping to charge an extra $3 to experience this as they hope more families will come if the kids have something more to do than just watch the movie. Cinepolis Junior will make its U.S. debut next week with Beauty and the Beast at the Pico Rivera and Vista locations in California. Below is a photo of one of the playground currently under construction:
Frankly, this idea sounds ridiculous. The thought of having kids uncontrolled and high of sugary snacks climbing, running, jumping, and sliding during the duration of a film is arguably only a better reason for many to not go to these movies. These theaters would more than likely only show family friendly movies, so even people that would not be bringing screaming children to the theater would have to endure this just to see a film such as Beauty and the Beast.
For U.S. residents, if this is something that they want to avoid, it should not be too difficult for the time being. Cinepolis Junior will only be featured at the aforementioned locations for right now, but Cinepolis is looking to expand their reach in the states even more. If this attraction is received favorably from those that partake in California, any other new locations with Cinepolis could very well see this included.
That said, there is hardly an argument to be made that family friendly movies are suffering at the box office. Finding Dory, Zootopia, The Jungle Book, and Secret Life of Pets were among the top six highest grossing films of last year. Yes, they could've made even more money potentially with higher ticket prices that Cinepolis Junior costs, but these films aren't struggling. It will be interesting to see how the response is to this idea as it moves forward and whether or not it sticks.
Source: LA Times