AMC to charge more for good seats in movie theaters

Middle seats at many U.S. movie theaters just got more expensive.

AMC Theaters, the nation’s largest movie theater chain, on Monday unveiled a new pricing scheme in which seat location determines how much your movie ticket costs. Seats in the middle of the auditorium will cost a dollar or two more, while seats in the front row will be slightly cheaper.

AMC said the pricing plan, dubbed “Sightline,” has already been rolled out in some locations and, by the end of the year, will be in place at all domestic AMC theaters during showings after 4 p.m.

Seats classified as “standard sightline” will be at the regular price. If you want to pay less for the “value sightline” seats, you have to be a member of the chain’s subscription service, AMC Stubs.

As movie theaters have attempted to recover from the pandemic, exhibitors have increasingly looked at more variable pricing methods. That’s included charging more for sought-after movies like “The Batman” in their first week of release.

Last weekend, Paramount Pictures partnered with theater chains to offer slightly reduced ticket prices for the comedy “80 for Brady.” And last year, during a dry spell in theaters, tickets at most movie theaters were $3 for “National Cinema Day.”

But in most circumstances, movie tickets are getting more expensive, especially when factoring in large-format screens and 3D showings. The average 3D premium format ticket for the biggest box-office hit in recent years, “Avatar: The Way of Water,” was about $16.50.

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6 thoughts on “AMC to charge more for good seats in movie theaters

  1. Yes, get those tickets early and often! The theaters are PACKED and the lines waiting to buy tickets are so long. The ticket, I bet, will also get you to use the EXPRESS POPCORN LINE so you don’t have to wait to pay $15 for your bucket of popcorn. Hey….what about those toilets? Let’s get back to charging for answering nature’s call! Give me a break! (sigh)

  2. The movie theater business is on an inevitable decline due to streaming services. See the Barry Diller interview with Margaret Hoover of Firing Line. He says, presumably backed up by good data, and my own personal observation, that the only movies drawing much of a crowd are the action/adventure sequels. So AMC collecting an extra dollar or two on the 20-30 occupied seats isn’t going to budge the needle. Maybe time to short those stocks? 😀

  3. I quit going to theaters years ago – well before pandemic issues. Got tired of people in the theater talking during the movie, and especially the non-stop usage of cell phones (talking and texting) during the movies. Now I wait after a movie’s release, and then when available, watch them on my big screen at home. A much more enjoyable experience. Oh, and the popcorn is cheaper, too 🙂

  4. In this day and age, they would have been better off reducing prices and cutting concession stand prices. Who needs to even go to a theater anymore when new releases are available at home virtually the same day?