Certain moviegoers feared that this variable pricing model for seats in movie theaters would catch on. If it had worked out very well, odds are, other exhibitors such as Regal and Cinemark may well have followed suit. That didn’t happen. As AMC outlined in its press release, they are opting to stick with the rest of the industry in pricing, while working towards making the front rows in its theaters far more desirable.
“Competitors did not match either initiative, of raising or lowering prices based on the location of the seats, however. To ensure AMC’s ticket prices remain competitive, the Sightline at AMC pilot program will come to an end at participating locations in the coming weeks, and the initiative will not roll out nationwide. AMC will pivot its focus to testing an entirely different type of spacious front row seating – with extensive seat recline – in select theatre locations throughout the United States later this year.”
This, for my money, feels like a much better move. Nobody wants to sit in the front row for a movie, generally speaking, because it’s just too close to really soak in the experience. But in a heavily reclining seat that had a lot more space to relax? That might be appealing depending on how well it’s executed.
It’s hard to blame AMC for trying something new. The company is saddled with billions in debt, in no small part due to the pandemic. That’s probably why they started selling AMC-branded popcorn in retail stores earlier this year. Maybe that initiative is actually panning out for the company because this one sure didn’t. Fortunately, a not-great idea didn’t catch on and moviegoers who buy tickets early can get those good seats without fear of being upcharged for the privilege. Just as nature intended.