The news took viewers by surprise in the middle of last week: Cinesa launches, starting in April, a voucher that will allow you to attend the cinema for a whole month or a whole year, as many times as desired in its extensive network of rooms. For practical purposes, a flat rate for cinema, a system that is fully established in other European countries and represents an interesting incentive for the pocket of regular viewers.
Just by going to the cinema two to three times a month, the cheapest price of the offer (15.90 euros per month) is already worth it. That is to say, for those who go to the theaters weekly, it is a very juicy offer. There is not much more to add in the part of the pros: it is tempting for regular viewers. However, in this interesting bet by Cinesa there are perhaps nuances that should be detailed.
It is clear why Cinesa launches this promotion. The collections of the theaters (which have grown very remarkably in Spain in 2022) allow the business to be sustained, but they are not what they were. It is true that at the beginning of last year there were still post-COVID restrictions, and even so we are facing encouraging figures, but the rooms have an enemy that was infinitely less threatening before the pandemic and that now it has become one of the main forms of entertainment for moviegoers: home streaming.
Although Netflix, HBO, Disney+ and company have their own problems due to content saturation, watching movies at home is no longer an accessory activity to going to theaters, but for many viewers it has become the main one, leaving theaters for special occasions or great premieres that will take time to arrive at the hall. But even that is very relative: studios like Warner, Disney or Universal have their own platforms, which has shortened the exhibition windows. And although the hangover of that Warner ordeal has already subsided, great premieres continue to arrive on the platforms just a few weeks after its passage through theaters.
the force of the contum
In the end, it’s all a matter of habits. By choosing the subscriptions sensibly (or not even: the viewer can flutter month by month between one platform and the other, depending on the releases and exclusives that interest them) you can have a very interesting portion of audiovisuals, and for the average consumer, it may more than enough. There are many people who, in the period of the pandemic, has found that he no longer has to invest large amounts of money in home publishing of your favorite movies or going to the movies: the platforms cover your needs.
Of course, it doesn’t always have to be like this: in my case, I consider the experience of going to the cinema to be unique, despite the inconvenience, the prices and, well, the people. But it compensates. But I’ve been going to the movies since I was little and it’s something I don’t want to give up. The truth is that even in my case I don’t think that the Cinesa flat rate is a must: I always go to the cinema in the original version, and the chain’s offer in this matter is not as complete as I would like.
Perhaps this flat rate is late in Spain. While in other countries (such as Belgium) it is a custom that has been in place for more than a decade, and consuming movies with these passes is the norm, here it comes to us when streaming has become something more than an effective alternative. It is already the primary way of approaching the audiovisual for the bulk of the population. And there will be many viewers decidedly lost for the rooms.
It is an enigma how this initiative can be received: in 2023, as we have seen, collections have risen (and in Spain, spectacularly), but perhaps there are customs that have become institutions. In any case, these maneuvers will never hurt: let’s hope they work so that we can see them repeated and expanded.
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