A mobile app that saves movie fans money AND increases movie theater box office after the first weekend?

Yield management for movie theater seats?

Dealflicks is a startup that has a solution for the many (95% of?) movie theater seats that currently remain unsold after most films' opening weekends.

The proposition? Provide discounted seats and a deal on refreshments.

How does Dealflicks work?

Users download the app - or visit the Dealflicks website - to see what movies in their area are available at a discount. The user simply selects a  film offered on Dealflicks. The users gets a confirmation code that entitles them to a discounted deal at the box office.

What's the revenue model for Dealflicks?

The exhibitors pay Dealflicks their share - 10%.

(Note: In the US - to abide by antitrust law - the studios don't get involved in ticket pricing or the other details of a Dealflicks offer. The theaters control the terms of the deal with the ticket buyers.)

If the theater has promised the distributor a 50-50 split, the distributor still gets 50% of the regular box office price, with the exhibitor retaining everything that is left after Dealflicks is paid.

(Note: This means exhibitor's may limit themselves to bundling high margin refreshments - or risk reducing their net overmuch through over-generous add-ons. But, if the regular ticket price is $12 and a large popcorn regularly costs $6, a $12 Dealflicks deal will still net the distributor $6, Dealflicks will take $1.20 and the theaters will still have $4.80 left to cover their popcorn and movie seat.)

Here's a video from Turner/ Warner Brothers Media Camp (a 12 week accelerator for entrepreneurs in the media businesses) where the Dealflicks business model is explained:

And here's a recap of what Dealflicks' co-founder and CEO, Sean Wycliffe, says in the Media Camp video:

As of July 2013, the average Dealflicks transaction is just over US$15.

And, since launching in beta in July 2012 - with a full-on push since March 2013, they've signed up a lot of indie theaters (and are in discussions with other larger chains) and are already selling over 10,000 tickets a month (26 tickets/theater/month as of July 2013).

What about the competition? Aren't sites like Fandango already selling movie tickets online?

Yes. But because Fandango and other online ticket sites charge a convenience fee, they are not heavily utilized after the opening weekend. That's where Dealflicks sees their niche - offering users an online tool for purchasing discounted tickets when there's no longer an incentive (i.e., fear of a sold-out show) for consumers to pay a convenience charge.

Finally, it's worth noting that Dealflicks 1) is collecting a lot of interesting data about users' movie preferences, when they shop and go to films, etc. and Dealflicks 2) could pivot to offer other merchandise to movie fans in addition to the current "a ticket and a popcorn" model.  For example, users could buy a ticket and a refreshment on Dealflicks and also receive a T shirt or a download of a prior film...

Here's how to contact the guys at Dealflicks:

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