AMC scraps plan to charge more for better seats

AMC Theaters has announced that it’s dropping plans to charge more for preferred seats and less for front-row ones through a tiered pricing system. The plan, called “Sightline,” was being tested in three U.S. markets since March.

The company says it saw “little or no increase in patronage of front row seating, despite a modest price reduction for these seats,” as people continued to sit in the preferred seats. More than 75% of AMC Stubs members who previously purchased tickets for preferred seats continued to select those seats, even with the slight upcharge applied.

AMC also noted that its competitors did not try to match its pilot program, which is another reason why it’s ending it, as it made the company less competitive in the test markets. The pilot program will come to an end at participating locations in the coming weeks, and the initiative will not roll out nationwide, AMC says. 

Although this pilot program was not successful, AMC is going to try to find another way to fill the front rows of its theaters, which often go unsold.

“AMC is applying its learnings as it pivots to its next innovation – enhanced spacious front row seating with extensive seat recline,” the company wrote in a blog post. “Beginning in late 2023, AMC will begin testing its newest seating concept. Large, comfortable lounge style seating areas will allow guests to lay all the way back and relax. The angle of the seats will also make it more enjoyable to watch movies from these front row seats closest to the screen.”

Although AMC is planning to end the tiered pricing pilot program in the coming weeks, it remains in place for what is likely going to be the most popular weekend at theaters this year for moviegoers, as “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” debut today.

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