for a film that is not being widely distributed, there is no reason that the ticket price has to stay around the $10-$12 range (or $9 in some parts of the country) - since the product/presentation is a rarity. if a filmmaker with a following wants to, prior to releasing a film widely, he or she could try to do several special event screenigs for his/her fans - at maybe $25 - $50 or so per ticket. i know that if i heard that jim jarmusch or hal hartley or another one of my fave filmmakers were going to do one screening in my city of their new & yet unreleased film & they would be attending the event & the tix cost $25 or so per person, i'd go (even though the tix price is much higher than at regular movie screenings).
i guess the big idea of the night is that limited/specialty film distribution does not necessarily have to follow mall megaplex pricing guidelines. specially since that eventually the movie will be available for all on DVD for a few dollars anyway. so, maybe such "unique" films could do some kind of a special events tour (with high tix prices) prior to getting released at regular theatrical (with normal tix prices) & then going to DVD, etc.
if a filmmaker were to do several nights at warner theatre size venues in various cities with tix at $25-50 per person, i bet quite a bit of the $s spent on production can be recouped (let's say for an under $1 mil indie feature).
just a thought.