AMC cinemas in the US ditch tiered seating prices

AMC Theaters
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In an outcome that will surprise nobody, it turns out that AMC’s ‘sightline’ seating policy has proven to be rather unpopular. 

Remember a while ago we covered the story that AMC’s cinema chain in the US was looking to squeeze a few more dollars from patrons by charging more for ‘premium’ positioned seats? In case you don’t recall, their definition of ‘premium’ were the seats in the middle, you know, the ones that almost everybody sits in?

Well unsurprisingly, it didn’t go down too well. The company found itself dealing with negative blowback from customers, not to  mention the odd movie star calling them out too. One such high profile blast came from Elijah Wood who tweeted: ‘The movie theater is and always has been a sacred democratic space for all and this new initiative by @AMCTheatres would essentially penalise people for lower income and reward for higher income.’

A month after the scheme was announced, the company’s CEO, Adam Aron found himself having to publicly defend it amid reports that lawsuits were being prepared to block it from happening. From a public relations perspective, things got pretty messy and the whole endeavour had lost the glossy, industry-shaping sheen that AMC probably thought it possessed when they first devised the idea.

Now the pilot has concluded, AMC has announced that it is moving away from Sightline ticketing, stating that it needs ‘to ensure its ticket prices stay competitive.’

However, the company hasn’t entirely ditched the idea of selling some seats at a higher ticket price. According to The Hollywood Reporter, ‘large, comfortable lounge-style seating areas will be installed at the very front to allow guests to lay all the way back and relax, as well as improve viewing angles from that perspective. Pricing was not announced for the new seats.’

That certainly sounds like a way to potentially increase revenue without gouging more from audiences, simply by charging more for the same experience that they’ve always enjoyed and rebranding it as ‘premium’.

Silly old AMC, if they’d just read our ‘8 Ways AMC can add a premium to its ticket prices' feature, they wouldn’t be in this mess. Probably.

Image: BigStock

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