(WXIN) – AMC’s plan to charge different prices depending on where moviegoers sit is no longer coming to a theater near you.
The movie theater chain had announced its “Sightline” program in February, which introduced a three-tiered pricing system for charging moviegoers different prices based on where they chose to sit. The “prime” seats were the most expensive.
AMC Theatres launched the initiative in three markets, and had planned to roll it out nationwide by the end of 2023.
The company has instead decided to scrap the idea outright, referring to Sightline as a “pilot test program” in an update released Thursday.
The company said consumers didn’t change their behavior enough to warrant making Sightline pricing permanent.
Discounting front seats didn’t make them more attractive to movie fans and charging more for the “best seats” didn’t stop anyone from choosing them.
Effectively, people sat where they usually sat, regardless of the price.
“More than 3 out of every 4 guests who previously sat in the Preferred Sightline section continued to choose Preferred Sightline seating, even with a slight up-charge,” according to an AMC press release. “And about 9 out of every 10 such guests continued to buy tickets at AMC Theatres, either sitting in the Preferred Sightline section or elsewhere in the theatre.”
The theater chain will test a new strategy to make front-row seats more attractive: replacing them with large lounge-style seating areas. According to AMC, the recliners will allow moviegoers to lie all the way back, making it easier for them to see the action when seated closer to the screen without straining their necks.
The theater chain will bring the new concept to select markets starting in “late 2023.”