AMC Theaters, the largest movie exhibition company in the U.S., is shaking up how it prices movie tickets.
Instead of selling tickets at a flat rate, moviegoers will soon pay more or less at AMC depending on where they decide to sit, according to a press release. Consumers will pay the most for Preferred Sightline seats located in the middle of the auditorium, while front-row and ADA seats are included in the theater’s new “Value Sightline” tier.
AMC’s Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Eliot Hamlisch says that the “experience-based pricing” will offer guests “more control over their experience.”
The movie theater chain has already rolled out the Sightline pricing model in select theaters, with plans to expand the initiative to all AMC locations by the end of 2023.
“Let’s make it more like airplane seating. People love the airlines, don’t they?” https://t.co/585wpV4sxM— Christopher Farnsworth (@chrisfarnsworth) February 6, 2023
On social media, consumers responded with frustration just hours after AMC’s announcement.
“AMC saw Netflix doing something astronomically stupid that will hurt their business and decided to try their hand at it too,” one user wrote on Twitter, referencing the streaming giant’s plans to crack down on password sharing.
Others said that the decision would backfire, especially considering movie theaters have struggled to compete with streaming services.
“It’s like they are intentionally trying to kill the theater industry,” one Redditor commented on r/Movies.
Despite the backlash online, AMC stock was up by 5% at the time of this publication.
Find a detailed list of the three pricing tiers below:
Value Sightline: AMC will sell front-row and ADA-compliant seating as part of its least expensive tier, though the discounted prices will only be available to AMC Stubs members (including free tier members).
Standard Sightline: These seats are “the most common” in movie theaters and “are available for the traditional cost of a ticket.”
Preferred Sightline: The theater’s middle seats will cost the most, though they’re available to AMC Stubs A-List members at no additional cost.