AMC’s plan to charge different prices depending on where moviegoers sit is no longer coming to a theater near you.
The movie theater chain announced its “Sightline” program in February. The three-tiered pricing system charged moviegoers different prices based on where they sat, with the “prime” seats costing the most money.
AMC Theatres launched the initiative in three markets and planned to roll it out nationwide by the end of 2023.
The company has instead decided to scrap the idea outright, referring to Sightline as a “pilot test program” in an update released Thursday.
The company said consumers didn’t change their behavior enough to warrant making Sightline pricing permanent.
Discounting front seats didn’t make them more attractive to movie fans and charging more for the “best seats” didn’t stop anyone from choosing them.
Effectively, people sat where they usually sat, regardless of the price.
- More than 3 out of 4 AMC Stubs members who previously purchased tickets within the Preferred Sightline sections of the theatre continued to select those seats, even with the slight upcharge applied.
- More than 1 out of 10 AMC Stubs members selected a seat outside the Preferred Sightline section, where there was no additional charge.
- AMC saw little or no incremental lift in front-row attendance, even with a price reduction applied to those seats.
The theater chain will test a new strategy to make front-row seats more attractive.
AMC will offer large, comfortable lounge-style seating areas in the front. Recliners will allow moviegoers to lie all the way back, making it easier for them to see the action when seated closer to the screen without straining their necks.
The theater chain will bring the new concept to select markets starting in “late 2023.”