Cinema price war looms as Readings cuts it's tickets to $10 to fill seats

One of New Zealand's largest cinema chains has dropped its ticket prices to get more movie goers through the doors. 

Despite the looming price war, industry insiders say they're in for a cracker year at the box office. Source: 1 NEWS

Despite claims the movie industry is still going strong, Readings Cinemas in Wellington has cut its ticket prices from $16 to $10.

Readings opened it's first theatre in Auckland last year, and for $10 a ticket they're the cheapest in town - cheaper than it's main competitors Event Cinemas and Hoyts.

A price war looms, film critics saying Reading's price cut is just what people have been crying out for.

Steve Newell of says the website asked people in its last survey how much of a reduction would it take for them to go to the movies twice as often.

"The majority of people said just three to five bucks off a movie ticket. So that may be in line with what Readings is proposing," he said.

Reading Cinemas wouldn't appear on camera for ONE News about the price drop, but it's the small time operators who say it's the food and drink that the big players are making good money off. 

"You're probably looking at a cost of 20 to 25 per cent on the soda and popcorn. So it's a very big mark up," said Steven Ferguson, who manages the small, independent Paramount Cinema in Wellington.

"We have a more specialist market, but nevertheless we'd still want to be reviewing our prices," he added.

Despite a growing number of people choosing to stream films online, film experts say new prices could pay off.

"I think they've just made a calculation that volume is going to be the solution," Mr Newell said.

Despite the looming price war, industry insiders say it's in for a bumper year at the box office.