AMC Theatres (AMC) has introduced a new ticket strategy that charges different prices depending on where you’re sitting in the theater. “Sightline at AMC” is scheduled to be in effect across all US theaters by the end of 2023.
This type of dynamic pricing is common for concerts, sporting events, and airlines, but AMC’s announcement has been met with backlash — even within the entertainment industry.
Actor Elijah Wood of The Lord of the Rings fame tweeted, “This new initiative by @AMCTheatres would essentially penalize people for lower income and reward for higher income.” Others have fingered the pricing model as “a perfect example of corporate greed.”
How It Works
Under this new policy, there will be three tiers of pricing: Standard Sightline, Value Sightline, and Preferred Sightline.
• Standard Sightline offers “seats that are the most common” at the traditional price.
• Value Sightline offers low-demand and select ADA seats at a cheaper price.
• Preferred Sightline offers seats in the middle of the theater at a premium price.
Notably, there will be no extra cost to reserve seats for AMC Stubs A-List members — the membership program which allows subscribers to see up to three movies per week for one monthly fee.
Time to Stream?
Any sort of price-raise policy will inevitably be unpopular with customers. But the policy will likely also be unpopular with AMC’s low-wage employees, who will be responsible for enforcing it. In an industry hit hard by both the pandemic and rising popularity of streaming, the last thing the quintessential meme stock needs is a standoff with customers and employees.
Just this past week, we’ve already seen an entertainment giant introduce an unpopular policy and quickly retreat, with Netflix (NFLX) walking back its new rules on password sharing. Many moviegoers are now on the edge of their seats, hoping AMC will follow its lead.
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