AMC To End Variable Ticket Pricing Program

Photo via AMC Theatres Instagram

AMC To End Variable Ticket Pricing Program

By Movieguide® Contributor

AMC Entertainment has announced it will not go through with plans to increase ticket prices based on where moviegoers are sitting. 

“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,” a statement from the company read

Sightline, the variable pricing program, charged more for seats in the Preferred Sightline section. Front row seats were offered for a lower price. 

Movieguide® previously reported on this plan:

Cinema giant AMC announced that tickets for the new D.C. Superhero movie, THE BATMAN, would cost more than other movies in a test for variable pricing

“Currently, our prices for THE BATMAN are slightly higher than the prices we are charging for other movies playing in the same theaters at the same time,” Adam Aron, CEO of AMC Entertainment, said.

“This is all quite novel in the United States, but actually AMC has been doing it for years in our European theaters. Indeed, in Europe we charge a premium for the best seats in the house — as do just about all sellers of tickets in other industries — take sports events, concerts and live theater, for example,” Aron added.

According to Deadline, tickets received a $1 mark-up due to fan anticipation for THE BATMAN.

AMC reported that, while those who paid to sit in the Preferred Sightline section continued to pay for those seats, they saw no increase in moviegoers buying the cheaper seats. 

Another reason AMC is dumping the variable ticket pricing program? According to The Verge, the theater chain’s competitors “didn’t try to match the scheme.” Since AMC was the only theater with this program in place, audiences who didn’t want to pay more for better seats would simply head to other theaters. 

Many people were outspoken about their criticism of AMC’s proposed ticket price-tier, including actress Elizabeth Banks. 

“I don’t really get it,” Banks told Insider. “I think the business model for everything in entertainment is in flux right now, so I understand that people are being creative where they can.”

She continued, “I just want to make sure that the widest audience gets to see the widest amount of movies. So for me, it’s about access. I just want to make sure that we are creating as much access to our entertainment as we can. That’s what I’m more concerned with.”

Now, the theater chain plans to focus on a “different type of spacious front row seating – with extensive seat recline.” This plan will start to roll out later this year.