Higher ticket prices go straight the the studios. That’s why snack prices are so ridiculous- it’s the primary revenue stream for most theaters, especially independent ones.
This. Movies like Star Wars, original Spider-Man, Pixar films see 80-90% ticket sales go directly to the studios the first 2 weeks. So, if you charge, say, $10 per ticket, you might make $200 per 100 tickets sold as opposed to the $800 the studio makes.
When the theater’s profit share goes up (40% in week 5), you are lucky to get 20 people per show.