Choovie set to expand in Oz and to launch in New Zealand

Choovie’s Sonya Stephen and Shane Thatcher.

Choovie’s Sonya Stephen and Shane Thatcher.

The creators of the dynamic pricing platform Choovie expect to ramp up ticket sales in Australia and to launch in New Zealand before the end of the year after raising nearly $295,000 via crowd-funding.

Co-founder Shane Thatcher says most of the funds will be spent on marketing the service, which offers discounted tickets to 69 cinemas, including some which joined after the Australian International Movie Convention and have yet to go live on the platform. Dendy and Majestic Cinemas are among the participating exhibitors.

“From our surveys we know the main reason people have not tried Choovie is they don’t know about it,” he tells IF. By the end of the year he aims to offer 200,000 tickets per week, up from slightly more than 100,000 currently.

Exhibitors set the ticket price for each session depending on demand and Choovie collects a fee of $1.25 per ticket, which is included in the price. The lowest price is $6 and the average is $10.50. Fully 75 per cent of the sales are for daytime sessions.

Via the crowd-funding platform Equitise, $294,250 was raised in the form of shares, 117% more than the target. Since launching in April 2017 Choovie has offered more than 5 million tickets for more than 150,000 sessions for 635 films at 40 venues.

The demand-based pricing is designed to boost sales at cinemas which typically have an average occupancy of 17 per cent.

The most popular titles generally mirror overall B.O. takings with a lag of two or three weeks for the blockbusters as prices for those titles are higher earlier in the season. Choovie has a subscriber base of about 30,000. Thatcher said: “Our aim now is customer acquisition.”

When the platform turns a profit he and co-founder Sonya Stephen intend to set up a Choovie Foundation, using 5 per cent of the profits to support Australian films.