Over the past few years, movie theater chains have been struck by a slowdown in the number of seats sold. Due to escalating ticket prices, they’re having a difficult time getting people into their theaters.
Dealflicks, which considers itself a kind of “Priceline for movie tickets,” is trying to change that by partnering with theater chains and offering discounted tickets and snacks at concessions stands. And it’s raised $1.7 million in seed funding to do so.
Investors in the round include 500 Startups, Siemer Ventures, Archer Gray, Rubicon VC, Wefunder, Be Great Partners, Rosepaul Investments, Mogility Capital, Sierra Maya Ventures, and Warner Brothers Media Camp. It also had some angels participate, including Ajay Narula, Richard Wolpert, Larry Braitman, Marc Berger, Hersh Narola, Jason Kothari, Darcy Wedd, and others.
Getting people into the theaters is becoming a challenge, especially since theater chains make most of their money off concessions. According to Dealflicks co-founder Sean Wycliffe, about 88 percent of movie seats go unsold. That gets even worse when you look at movies beyond opening weekend, where typically 95 percent of seats are empty.
Dealflicks seeks to get more people in those seats, with a mobile app showing discounted movie tickets and related offers near them.
To do this, it partners with independent theaters and theater chains to help boost theater attendance. The company has gone live in more than 400 different theater locations across the country, and has partners with nine of the top 50 U.S. theater chains. It then enables theater chains to set discounts, whether that be on movie tickets, concessions, or some combination of the two.
Discounts can run as high as 60 percent off, but the typical discount for tickets is about 30 percent, with ticket and popcorn deals running about 35 percent to 40 percent off. Theaters can set different discounts depending on the movie time, day of the week, or expected attendance.
Ultimately though, Dealflicks wants to get a little more control and offer purely dynamic pricing based on a number of factors. Given the amount of data that it has, Dealflicks believes that it can better predict attendance for different movie showtimes and offer targeted discounts based on user ratings, how well a movie did on opening weekend, and even what the weather is like on any given day.