Movie theater chain’s plan to charge more for good seats, less for front row, falls flat

Movie theater operator AMC has ditched plans to charge more seats with better sightlines after competitors did not follow along.

AMC began the pilot program five months ago in three U.S. markets where it said it charged slightly more for better seats, and less for those in the front of the theater and others with inferior views.

AMC said its competitors didn’t raise or cut prices on any of their seats based on location. The company said because it wants its pricing to remain competitive, it’s ending the pilot program in the coming weeks and there will be no attempt to roll out those changes nationwide.

AMC also found that more than three out of every four guests who previously sat in the preferred sightline section continued to choose seats in that section, even with a slight up-charge. But it saw little to no increase in people buying front row seats that were cheaper.

AMC first announced the pilot program in February.

AMC, based in Leawood, Kansas, said it’s now going to focus on testing more spacious seating for the front row with seats that recline at some U.S. locations later this year.