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Cineplex Quietly Adds $1.50 Online Booking Fee for Movie Tickets

Cineplex Quietly Adds $1.50 Online Booking Fee for Movie Tickets

By Simon Hung

Cineplex movies will be slightly more expensive if you're used to buying tickets online, as the company has introduced a new online booking fee when purchasing through their website or mobile app.

The fee was first introduced as early as last week, after RedFlagDeals user Saturate noticed the additional charge when booking movie tickets on June 15. Cineplex has since acknowledged the fee publicly, telling The Canadian Press that the change was made "to further invest and evolve our digital infrastructure."

Cineplex's new online booking fee is upwards of $1.50 per ticket.

When ordering Cineplex tickets online, moviegoers will notice a new "Booking Fee" section at the bottom of the page that automatically charges a $1.50 non-refundable fee per ticket, while members of Cineplex's Scene+ loyalty program will be charged a reduced fee of $1.00 per ticket. The fee is mandatory for all tickets booked online, regardless of format or date.

The new practice is similar to Ticketmaster's wildly unpopular "convenience charge" that tacks on additional fees if you opt to order tickets online. However, Cineplex's approach is far less egregious and luckily, there are two ways to avoid the fees altogether.

  • Buy tickets in-person – Cineplex will not charge booking fees when purchasing tickets in-person at Cineplex box offices or self-serve kiosks
  • Get a CineClub membership – the fee will be waived entirely for members of Cineplex's CineClub movie subscription program, which costs $9.99 per month

This isn't the first time Cineplex has dabbled with ticket surcharges in recent years. Back in 2017, the company implemented a $1.00 reserved seating fee for highly-anticipated movies like Star Wars: The Last Jedi in order to capitalize on its enormous hype, but the fees were ultimately scrapped after backlash from Canadian moviegoers.

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Source: Cineplex, with reports from The Canadian Press

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    • And now they're nerfing Scene points as of Aug 11.

      Fun.
    • Report Post
    • Ever tried fried rice at Hong Kong Disneyland? Back in 2007, it was about $15 for a small plate. They made it good but the portions were pitiful.
      Image
    • Report Post
    • So annoyed at this practice - who in the hell does it even benefit? I'll bet some corporate fatcat was watching all the prices around increasing and thought to themself "I want in on that" Go F yourselves Cineplex I am actively avoiding you from no won and will watch EVERYTHING here, good luck dying! https://himovies.top/home
    • Report Post
    • Ever tried fried rice at Hong Kong Disneyland? Back in 2007, it was about $15 for a small plate. They made it good but the portions were pitiful.
      People will say anything on this site. :facepalm:
    • Report Post
    • Ever tried fried rice at Hong Kong Disneyland? Back in 2007, it was about $15 for a small plate. They made it good but the portions were pitiful.
    • Report Post
    • Ever been to a sports game or concert and see what they charge for concessions? Or what a hotel charges for taking a Coke from the in-room fridge?
      Extreme examples but OK.
      You also left out the Olympics, Super Bowl and Wrestlemania.. Brother!
      It's True.. It's true... Ooooooh... yeah!!!!
    • Report Post
    • Ever been to a sports game or concert and see what they charge for concessions? Or what a hotel charges for taking a Coke from the in-room fridge?
      ...airport
    • Report Post
    • I never get a drink or candy or popcorn if I am by myself. The only time I'll pay for concessions is if I take the kids.

      Not only are the concessions horrendously expensive, they are also mostly terrible health-wise.
    • Report Post
    • Agree concession are outrageous but its part of the "movie" culture and its how Cineplex makes its money.
      No other business in the world can get away w/ charging 8$ for a soda.

      2 popcorn, 1 large, 1 mediaum and 1 small drink, candy.. saved 5$.
      Ever been to a sports game or concert and see what they charge for concessions? Or what a hotel charges for taking a Coke from the in-room fridge?
    • Report Post

    • Also don't forget about the 20% savings on concessions,
      Agree concession are outrageous but its part of the "movie" culture and its how Cineplex makes its money.
      No other business in the world can get away w/ charging 8$ for a soda.

      2 popcorn, 1 large, 1 mediaum and 1 small drink, candy.. saved 5$.
    • Report Post
    • Do the machines at the theatre let you use multiple gift cards? I've got this problem where I've got a couple of bucks left on many cards. Don't want to let cineplex not have me spend those small balances :)
      We basically had a customer service guy at the theatre do our transaction for us using multiple gift cards
    • Report Post
    • I just cancelled CineClub, just before it auto renewed for the 2nd month. I used it for one movie, for myself and my family, but haven't used it since and don't plan on using it again in the next month or two. Maybe I'll sign up again in a couple of months as the new crop of movies come out.

      Or can I? How soon can I sign up after cancelling? I didn't see it mentioned in the FAQ.

      https://cineplex.service-now.com/gsc?id ... 88cc4bcb0f
      You can sign up again immediately AFAIK. Mine "got cancelled" because I had to get a new debit card and I forgot to update my details on Cineclub. Then it cancelled out, then once I realised I just resubscribed immediately and I was using it the same day. Even if you cancel, you don't lose the accumulated movies, if you have any, so that's good.

      I keep it running even if I don't watch any movies that month, because the tickets accumulate/stay in your account. So it's not like you're ever really "losing" if you keep it going, you can always use those tickets later and use multiple at a time (I've used 2 at once, a few times now).

      Also don't forget about the 20% savings on concessions, it's pretty good and takes the sting out of the high prices. I always bring in my contraband too, lol' but I also always buy some food/drink items so these are really the main benefits I'm using. The tickets that I'm not losing anything on, and the savings on the foods, which I'm coming out ahead on. The booking fee I don't really consider a savings because it's a scam to begin with, but I'm def. glad I'm not paying it. I'm not saying you are saving tons of money here but it's savings on what you'd otherwise be spending anyway, so don't see why one would not be a Cineclub member presuming you live near and go to, Cineplex theatres.
    • Report Post
    • I just cancelled CineClub, just before it auto renewed for the 2nd month. I used it for one movie, for myself and my family, but haven't used it since and don't plan on using it again in the next month or two. Maybe I'll sign up again in a couple of months as the new crop of movies come out.

      Or can I? How soon can I sign up after cancelling? I didn't see it mentioned in the FAQ.

      https://cineplex.service-now.com/gsc?id ... 88cc4bcb0f
    • Report Post
    • I'm planning on using all of my 5 CineClub tickets by September that have added up in my account since I joined last year. After the summer blockbusters are all done, I'll decide in the autumn whether to terminate or continue my membership.
    • Report Post
    • Do the machines at the theatre let you use multiple gift cards? I've got this problem where I've got a couple of bucks left on many cards. Don't want to let cineplex not have me spend those small balances :)
      That's a good question! I cannot find an actual gift card balance website (unless one logs in) but there's a toll-free number. I highly recommend you see if the toll-free number CSRs can apply all of the small balances onto one card. Why? If PC Mobile's LD calling cards allow one to transfer a tiny balance from one card onto another (new) card, there should be a similar option for your cards. Or at least call and ask if the machines will limit you to a certain number of gift cards.

      FAQs don't seem to have the answer: https://giftcards.cineplex.com/giftcardfaq
    • Report Post
    • So, I just joined CineClub simply to get tickets for one movie.

      Beware. Their website totally sucks. I tried two different browsers, and the attempts to join it would time out and fail. Finally I joined using their iOS app.
      I totally hate having to MFA each time I try to log into the online account.
      Unlike teenagers, I don't have the (work) cell w/ me 24/7 and sometimes don't even know where it is after business hours.
      Didn't buy tickets once b/c I was too lazy to go to the car to get the phone.

      @KravenHead Thanks for cracking the concession revenue story as main source of Cineplex revenue. It's already hard to buy a $5 Coke ($5.75 with HST) when I know I can get one at DollarTree for $1.40 (taxes in). A fifty cent hike on pop or a dollar would just keep me from buying a beverage and going for a non-popcorn snack instead.
      Nowhere is buying a "large" drink and popcorn for 20$ acceptable other than at the cinema.
      BTW, Today's "Large" is really 2015's "Medium" because Cineplex was kind enough to lower the drink size for 'health reasons' as being a reason. Obviously the "large" price stayed though.
      So if you go and buy the tickets through one of the machines at the cineplex you don't have to pay the fee?
      Side note.. just counted and I have roughly 22 passes banked up here. I remember a time where I'd be looking forward to going to the cinemas. Had a chance on Saturday to finally see Maverick (VIP Matinee) as the family was gone for the day. I opted instead to watch the Terminal List (Amazon) in the man cave and took a nap half way in the lazy-boy
    • Report Post
  • zod
    • Exactly
      Do the machines at the theatre let you use multiple gift cards? I've got this problem where I've got a couple of bucks left on many cards. Don't want to let cineplex not have me spend those small balances :)
    • Report Post
    • So if you go and buy the tickets through one of the machines at the cineplex you don't have to pay the fee?
      Exactly
    • Report Post
  • zod
    • On the flip side I only really go to the theatre for Marvel/Star Wars and the odd other movie (like Top Gun). Most of those have a few months before the show up on digital. With MCU and Star Wars you tend to go pretty quick to avoid not being spoiled about what happens.

      Unfortunately I don't think the fee will change my behaviour. The Silvercity here is the only decent theatre. We had a land mark but it was a crappy 2 screen theatre in an old mall (which has now been closed). Not much competition here if you want to see a movie on a more modern larger screen.
    • Report Post
    • Having just paid $50 a ticket on ticketmaster in "fees", there is one thing Cineplex is not taking into consideration. Or they are are, and it will do the opposite effect.

      The music industry can get away making guest pay this fee because there is literally NO alternative. If I want to see "x" performer live, this is the only option.

      Now, a result of Covid, most cinematic releases get 2-5 weeks in theaters, then are released on a streaming platform. People have also updated their home systems.

      I know its not 100% the same, but it's an alternative. That performer isn't playing at Skydome once, then in high park 2-5 weeks later.
    • Report Post
  • zod
    • So if you go and buy the tickets through one of the machines at the cineplex you don't have to pay the fee?
    • Report Post
    • @KravenHead Thanks for cracking the concession revenue story as main source of Cineplex revenue. It's already hard to buy a $5 Coke ($5.75 with HST) when I know I can get one at DollarTree for $1.40 (taxes in). A fifty cent hike on pop or a dollar would just keep me from buying a beverage and going for a non-popcorn snack instead.
    • Report Post
    • Does Costco still sell the Landmark movie night out packages?
      Yep along with the Cineplex ones.
    • Report Post
    • Does Costco still sell the Landmark movie night out packages?
    • Report Post
    • Should be $41.79 again with a second $9.99 member ticket replacing the membership cost.
      OK, if so, that's great. Thx.

      Mind you I'd do downtown IMAX for Thor, so presumably the pricing would be higher.
    • Report Post
    • So, I just joined CineClub simply to get tickets for one movie.

      Beware. Their website totally sucks. I tried two different browsers, and the attempts to join it would time out and fail. Finally I joined using their iOS app.

      It was actually worth it from the cost perspective partially because of their stupid booking fee, even with Scene membership. Normal booking fee is $1.50, $1.00 with Scene, and $0 with CineClub.

      Booked seats for my family of four for Marcel The Shell With Shoes On.

      Normal price:
      $13.50 x 2 adults
      $8.50 x 2 kids
      $1.00 x 4 tickets
      Total $48 + tax = $54.24

      CineClub price:
      $9.99 membership for me, 1 free ticket
      $9.99 member price for 2nd adult
      $8.50 x 2 kids
      Total $36.98 + tax = $41.79

      Total savings $12.45 this month. Mind you, if it wasn't for the $4.00 booking fee, the savings would have been $7.93 instead.

      If I get Thor tickets next week I won't get much discount since I'm still in my first month, right?
      Should be $41.79 again with a second $9.99 member ticket replacing the membership cost.
    • Report Post
    • Ironically just paid this fee to book Top Gun. A dad and his kid was in our seats when we got there and got him to move out. Theatre was 80% empty. Money well spent.
    • Report Post
    • So, I just joined CineClub simply to get tickets for one movie.

      Beware. Their website totally sucks. I tried two different browsers, and the attempts to join it would time out and fail. Finally I joined using their iOS app.

      It was actually worth it from the cost perspective partially because of their stupid booking fee, even with Scene membership. Normal booking fee is $1.50, $1.00 with Scene, and $0 with CineClub.

      Booked seats for my family of four for Marcel The Shell With Shoes On.

      Normal price:
      $13.50 x 2 adults
      $8.50 x 2 kids
      $1.00 x 4 tickets
      Total $48 + tax = $54.24

      CineClub price:
      $9.99 membership for me, 1 free ticket
      $9.99 member price for 2nd adult
      $8.50 x 2 kids
      Total $36.98 + tax = $41.79

      Total savings $12.45 this month. Mind you, if it wasn't for the $4.00 booking fee, the savings would have been $7.93 instead.

      If I get Thor tickets next week I won't get much discount since I'm still in my first month, right?
    • Report Post
    • they might well get getting close to a billion for that breakup fee. They did more than just survive. Longer term is a different matter.

      I dont think $1.50 is going to prevent people from going to the cinemas. If you're talking about boycotting them already, then you were never their target market. You sure werent going to spurge on their food which is where they make 90% of their money.
      You're wrong on that, while tickets included popcorn and drinks i've always picked up some additional food such as a hot dog or such as well. I do NOT see the jump to the conclusion of anyone asking for a boycott, rather some have suggested that they will spend their own dollars where they wish and haven't called on anyone to follow suit. People do have the right to spend their dollars where they see the most value, that is not a boycott.

      Think you are MISSING the point however, it isn't the $1.50 as an amount i wouldn't complain about tht seeing their costs have risen and concerns with coming through this covid situation, rather it is the fact it is in the form of an additional FEE.

      Add the $1.50 to the ticket price and that to me is a valid increase i would pay and not be too concerned about as all prices need to rise to pay for salaries, taxes, air conditioning, etc......but do not do it in the form of an additional fee.

      People hate to feel they are being gouged....raise the ticket price is cost of doing business and reasonable, adding an additional fee and say it is to upgrade their theatres is dis-ingenious.

      I believe most posters seem to agree with that sentiment.
    • Report Post
    • they might well get getting close to a billion for that breakup fee. They did more than just survive. Longer term is a different matter.

      I dont think $1.50 is going to prevent people from going to the cinemas. If you're talking about boycotting them already, then you were never their target market. You sure werent going to spurge on their food which is where they make 90% of their money.
    • Report Post
    • Have two Costco Cineplex passes left, once they are gone will stop going to the theatre and will just watch through streaming services. In the rare situation where something just looks to good to pass up will travel up to a Landmark as others have suggested.

      I thought Cineplex navigated the covid situation rather successfully all things considering, however this move is just plain backwards. I can understand needing some additional revenue, however people hate additional fees on top of ticket prices for entry. I understand it may be due to the majority of ticket prices go to the studio's as per their contract, however then change the contract not piss off your customers. I would hope they have done due diligence and did there market research, determined that lost customers will be minimal seeing if not this move may end up being a loss or at best neutral. Best case it is neutral however even in that situation less people out in the seats erodes the overall customer base and growth, that is a bad sign for long term success.

      We will just have to see if the large majority of people really care, i'm putting my money on a 5% portion will decide to reduce or eliminate their patronage maybe that is factored into their cost of future business.
    • Report Post
    • Cineplex is going to regret this one. Another reason to stay home and wait for the movie to show up on one of the streaming services
    • Report Post
    • Cineplex is going to regret this one. Another reason to stay home and wait for the movie to show up on one of the streaming services
    • Report Post
    • So people now need to pay a fee to use buy tickets... what's next, seats will be divided by section (red, blue, white) and ticket prices will be based on seat location...

      Customer support at Cineplex is subpar anyways. Been a cineclub member since March and been to the cinema once w/ the kid. To date I have 1 available cineclub member ticket in the account
      Wrote them twice, tweeted twice... no response.
      No next is movies cost more depending on the movie. Batman costs more than whatever A24 joint is coming out this weekend.
    • Report Post
    • Well, Ticketmaster has been charging processing fee of $12 per ticket for long time.
      Why no one complains about it?

      I’m ok to to pay booking fee.
      Ticketmaster got sued and still being sue for that
    • Report Post
    • Cineplex customer service is the worst I ever had. A ticket openned four months ago has not been resolved. I sent two emails for an update, no response.
      I had a ticket open too regarding their app and Scene, had to complain via their email & Facebook & Messenger before someone got back to me
    • Report Post
    • Cineplex customer service is the worst I ever had. A ticket openned four months ago has not been resolved. I sent two emails for an update, no response.
    • Report Post
    • F* Cineplex.

      My wife went to go watch a movie with her mother today and the box office is closed. They are selling the tickets in the same line at the concessions. Yeah, you read that right, the concessions stand. 🤦

      I guess they are making it troublesome not to buy it online or via the app. Disgusting.

      This is Markham VIP btw
      She says the employees at the concessions are over worked and stressed as they're handling both concessions and box office.
    • Report Post
    • Not that many people see at least a movie a month. The average 18-24 year old sees about 6 a year, and they are the highest demographic per capita.
      6 a year still makes sense for a subscription if your going in pairs as you just use 2 months tickets at once.
    • Report Post
    • So if you go to even 1 movie a month isn't signing up for Cineclub a no brainer. My local theatre a regular movie is currently $14.50 plus $1 booking fee plus tax = $16.28, I use $1 fee because scene + is free and anyone can sign up. While Cineclub is $9.99 plus tax for 1 movie a month and they don't expire. So just sign up and cancel immediately and you are ahead of paying regular price. Unless I am missing something?
      Not that many people see at least a movie a month. The average 18-24 year old sees about 6 a year, and they are the highest demographic per capita.
    • Report Post