'Your Days Are Numbered': Customers, Actors Slam AMC Theaters for New Ticket Prices that 'Penalize People for Lower Income'
This week, AMC Theaters revealed its new tiered ticket pricing system called "Sightline at AMC."
Lots of movie theaters these days give you the option to select your seat ahead of time so that you don't have to scramble to get the best seat for prime viewing.
But now, AMC Theaters is now looking to capitalize on this convenience by charging those who select seats with better views more money than those stuck in the back or craning their necks up in the front.
The new ticketing structure will be dubbed "Sightline at AMC" and will feature three tiers of ticket prices that will charge customers based on their seat selection.
"Sightline at AMC more closely aligns AMC's seat pricing approach to that of many other entertainment venues, offering experienced-based pricing and another way for moviegoers to find value at the movies," said Eliot Hamlisch, EVP and CMO of AMC Theaters in a company release. "While every seat at AMC delivers an amazing moviegoing experience, we know there are some moviegoers who prioritize their specific seat and others who prioritize value moviegoing."
The most common tier will be "standard sightline," which will charge seats at the standard price of an AMC ticket. One level below is the "value sightline," which includes seats in the front row and select accessibility seating options, and those will be priced lower than the standard seating. These seats, however, are only available for members of the AMC Stubs subscription.
The highest level, "preferred sightline" are priced higher than the standard tier and includes seats located in the middle of most theaters. AMC Stubs A-List (the highest level of AMC's subscription-based membership plan) members will also be able to reserve these seats for the price of a standard ticket.
The new pricing program caught the attention of actor and "Lord of the Rings" series star Elijah Wood who slammed the movie theater chain for "penalizing" those from lower income backgrounds with its new prices.
The movie theater is and always has been a sacred democratic space for all and this new initiative by @AMCTheatres would essentially penalize people for lower income and reward for higher income.— Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) February 6, 2023
Moviegoers on Twitter seemed to be in agreement with the price increases, noting that the bumps in pricing for better seating may encourage some fans to stay home and not go to the theater at all.
AMC theaters says all ticket prices will be based on seat location by the end of 2023. In other news, AMC theaters will file bankruptcy by the end of 2023.— Jackie Bouvier (@jackiembouvier) February 7, 2023
Why do they find the need to make the movie going experience more complicated and more expensive? This is the dumbest shit I've heard. I'm trying to watch a movie, not go to a concert. #AMCTheaters https://t.co/hdE3bt2zPP— A+ Opinions (@APlusOpinions) February 6, 2023
AMC Theaters, your days are numbered . Theater seat pricing is already like $20 and now you all want to charge a premium for people sitting in the middle rows???— SPADE (@scarlett_spade) February 7, 2023
The public kept rallying behind y'all stock... keeping y'all afloat, just so y'all could come up with this. smh
Sightline at AMC will only be applicable for movies that start after 4 p.m.
The new pricing service has already been rolled out at select locations but will be available in all locations by the end of this year, AMC said.