Cinema ticket prices in Japan are set to rise for the first time since 1993 – the year Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List were wowing audiences.
Standard ticket prices were settled at ¥1,800 ($17.50) 26 years ago as the industry looked to handle changes linked to the proliferation of multiplexes across the country and to stem a decline in audience figures.
A record 169.2m tickets were bought in 2018 – compared to just 119.6m in 1996 – but cinema chains Toho and Tokyu Recreation said a raise in prices is now required to fund construction projects and improvements in technology, such as the installation of 4D and IMAX screens.
However, Aeon and United, two of the largest chains, said they would not change their prices at this time.
It is unknown what the change to standard ticket prices will have on the actual amount punters pay at the box office. Once discounts are applied the average price paid by cinemagoers in Japan is $12.15 – roughly two-thirds of the standard price. It is suggested discount tickets will also rise relative to the change in standard prices.
Screen numbers have rebounded from a low of 1,734 in 1996 to 3,561 last year, according to the Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan.