AMC Theaters scraps plans to charge more for good seats

ByParija Kavilanz
Thursday, July 20, 2023
AMC Theaters scraps plans to charge more for good seats
Instead, AMC will test a new type of front row seating process after results from the pilot revealed that people still didn't want to sit right at the front of the theater.

LOS ANGELES -- AMC Theaters said Thursday it is ending its "Sightline" tiered seat-pricing pilot, which it began earlier this year, in which moviegoers who sat up by the front of the theater directly next to the screen paid less for a ticket compared to those who chose more desirable seats in the middle of the theater.

In February, AMC (AMC) said it was rolling out the initiative to all of its roughly 1,000 movie theaters by the end of the year.

The company said at the time that AMC theaters would offer three pricing tiers for tickets, with the highest-end "Preferred" tier in the middle of the theaters priced at a "slight premium" compared to its "Standard" tier.

That standard tier, it said, would be sold for the "traditional cost of a ticket." The third "Value" tier would be the lowest-priced tickets for seats in the front row.

AMC said it is now pivoting away from Sightline and will not roll it out nationwide. Instead, it will test a new type of front row seating process after results from the Sightline pilot revealed that people still didn't want to sit right at the front of the theater, their necks craned upwards towards the screen right in front of them, even with a slight discount on the tickets.

The company also said the tiered seat pricing test showed most moviegoers who previously sat in the preferred Sightline section continued to choose those seats, even with an upcharge, and most customers continued to buy tickets either sitting in the Preferred section or elsewhere in the theater.

Moving forward, AMC said it's gearing up to test more spacious front rows, with seats that recline, in theaters nationwide later in the year.

CNN's Jordan Valinsky contributed to this story.

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