AMC Theatres is abandoning its “Sightline” pricing strategy, which charged different prices for seats in different locations within each theater.
First announced in February, AMC’s plan involved charging higher prices for the best seats in each theater, and lower prices for seats at the very front of the auditoriums.
The company said Thursday that it will end the pilot program in the coming weeks and replace it with a new program that aims to upgrade the seats at the front of each auditorium (an area considered to be the worst viewing experience).
“Beginning in late 2023, AMC will begin testing its newest seating concept,” the company said. “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.”
Pricing was not announced for the new seats, though the company noted that in the Sightline pilot program, most consumers were willing to pay more for the premium seats, while it saw little to no change in the front-row seats, even with their lower price.
The company says it is pivoting away from the Sightline program “to ensure its ticket prices stay competitive.”
The Sightline plan brought movie theater tickets in line with other forms of entertainment, like concerts, sporting events or plays, which charge different prices depending on the seat. However, it also marked a departure from how movie tickets have traditionally been sold.
While theaters have long offered cheaper tickets for matinees or other time-based showings, they have typically avoided charging patrons different prices to see the same movie in the same auditorium at the same time.