No, getting seats in AMC Theaters will not be like booking tickets for flights, sporting events, or the theater. As previously reported by Bloomberg, the company is done testing ways to offer tiered pricing that would have customers paying extra for more desirable seats at the cinema and less for the ones no one wants.
The now-canceled Sightline plan was being tested in three US markets, and AMC notes customer response “clarified” things enough to end the pilot. The company stated that it “saw little or no incremental lift in front-row attendance, even with a price reduction applied to those seats” in the testing markets.
AMC notes, probably most importantly, that its competitors didn’t try to match the scheme, and so it will go in another direction.
Personally, I wonder whether moviegoers could have just bought the regular or cheaper tickets for less-crowded showings a week after release — and then just walk to seats that don’t make them feel like they’re looking into a ViewMaster.
AMC will again attempt to get people to sit in the peripheral-vision-testing rows by experimenting with new “enhanced spacious front row seating with extensive seat recline,” which it will begin testing in late 2023. It matches other theaters that also let guests in the front lie all the way back, similar to how people might sit at home while they stream movies.