Los Angeles Times

Get up close for less with AMC

But moviegoers will pay more for desirable seats in new variable pricing program.

- By Anousha Sakoui

AMC Theatres has introduced a new pricing program, offering cheaper seats for movie fans who don’t mind sitting in the front row, in the latest attempt to increase attendance and profits after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S.’ biggest cinema circuit on Monday said its new pricing initiative, called “Sightline,” will be expanded to all its domestic locations by year end, including dinein cinemas, after having already rolled out at some AMC theaters.

The price of a “standard” seat in the auditorium isn’t changing.

But at showings after 4 p.m., so-called “value sightline” seats located in the auditorium’s front row will be cheaper. The program excludes Tuesdays, when AMC runs another discount program. Only members of AMC’s Stubs loyalty program will have access to the discounted seats.

Those who want the best seats will have to pay a premium. “Preferred” seats — typically in the middle of the auditorium — will cost more than the standard tickets, AMC said. Exact pricing details were not disclosed.

The new pricing scheme is yet another attempt by a major movie chain to lure patrons back into theaters in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, while making more money from the most enthusiast­ic moviegoers.

It is not the first time theaters have toyed with pricing, based on demand or discountin­g for particular

groups, to increase turnout.

The Leawood, Kan.based company also has been experiment­ing with dynamic pricing, charging more for popular films, as it did with last year’s Warner Bros.’ “The Batman.” Other major chains have charged more for blockbuste­rs. AMC also previously upped prices for weekend showtimes at some of its theaters above weekday shows, which tend to get lower attendance.

Last week, AMC extended matinee ticket pricing to all screenings of “80 for Brady,” translatin­g to discounts of around 25%, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

“We know there are some moviegoers who prioritize their specific seat and others who prioritize value moviegoing,” said Eliot Hamlisch, chief marketing officer and executive vice president at AMC Theatres, in a statement. “Sightline at AMC accommodat­es both sentiments to help ensure that our guests have more control over their experience.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States