AMC movie chain is getting ready to increase its prices for some seating in theaters across America.
AMC Announces New Seating Structure Plans
Today, AMC announced its plans to roll out Sightline at AMC, a new pricing structure that will split auditorium seats into three differently priced tiers in theaters across the country.
In a statement about the new program, Eliot Hamlisch, AMC’s chief marketing officer, described Sightline as an effort to get consumers thinking about buying movie tickets the same way they might events at “many other entertainment venues.”
Hamlisch also said that the new pricing structure is meant to give people who have particular seats they like a better shot at securing them and noted that some seats would become less expensive.
Read: AMC Press Release
The initiative was swiftly criticized on social media. Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood described it as undemocratic, a move that “would essentially penalize people for lower-income and reward for higher income.” Others said the tiered seating option would further deter consumers as the industry competes with at-home streaming.
Here’s What the Changes Might Look Like
MC Theatres, the largest theatrical exhibitor in the United States and the world, announced Sightline at AMC – a ticket pricing initiative based on seat location within each auditorium. It provides AMC moviegoers with multiple options to meet their viewing preferences.
Sightline at AMC more closely aligns AMC’s approach to seat pricing with the experience-based options offered by other entertainment and event venues and offers three different seat-pricing options:
- Standard Sightline – these seats are the most common in auditoriums and are available for the traditional cost of a ticket
- Value Sightline – these seats are in the front row of the auditorium, as well as select ADA seats in each auditorium, and are available at a lower price than Standard Sightline seats. Value Sightline pricing is only available to AMC Stubs members, including the free tier membership – AMC Insider.
- Preferred Sightline – these seats are typically in the middle of the auditorium and are priced at a slight premium to Standard Sightline seats. As an added benefit to AMC’s most loyal moviegoers, AMC Stubs A-List members may make reservations in the Preferred Sightline Section at no additional cost.
Theatres that offer Sightline at AMC will provide a detailed seat map that clearly outlines each seating option during the ticket purchase process online, on the AMC app, and at the box office. Sightline at AMC is applied to all showtimes that begin after 4 p.m. at participating locations and is not applicable on Discount Tuesdays.
“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 Theatres.
“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. Sightline at AMC accommodates both sentiments to help ensure that our guests have more control over their experience, so that every trip to an AMC is a great one.”
Who is AMC?
AMC is the largest movie exhibition company in the United States, the largest in Europe, and the largest throughout the world, with approximately 950 theatres and 10,500 screens across the globe.
AMC Entertainment was formed in 1920 when Maurice, Edward, and Barney Dubinsky bought the Regent Theatre in Kansas City. In 1961, it was renamed American Multi-cinema by the then-CEO Stanley Durwood.
In May 2012, AMC Theatres was acquired by Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group, headquartered in Dalian, who paid $2.6 billion to acquire AMC’s 5,048 screens in 347 theaters in the U.S. and Canada.
For Wanda Group, the AMC investment didn’t turn out to be fruitful in the initial years. In 2021, the Group exited AMC and capitalized on the Reddit fuelled rally. Since Wanda Group has exited AMC, it isn’t a Chinese-owned company anymore.
Vanguard is the largest investor in AMC, BlackRock comes second, followed by State Street Capital Advisors. According to data compiled by Fidelity, insiders own a 6.3 percent stake in AMC, and institutional stock and mutual fund ownership is 34.4 percent, while a 4.9 percent stake is held by mutual funds.
The pricing has already been introduced at several AMC locations, and the theater company said it would be rolled out at all of its U.S. locations by year’s end.
BlackRock is a partner of the World Economic Forum.
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