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Elijah Wood Blasts AMC Theatres for Seat-Based Pricing

CBR 2/7/2023 Cassidy Stephenson
© Provided by CBR

Lord of the Rings actor Elijah Wood has criticized AMC Theatres for its new pricing system.

On Twitter, Wood claimed the company's recently announced Sightline program would "penalize" lower-income customers and "reward" higher-income ones. Sightline, a new pricing scheme at AMC Theatres, organizes seats into categories for movie showtimes after 4:00 p.m. Standard Sightline would cost the same as a regular movie ticket, while Value would cost less, considering purchasers would sit in the less-than-ideal front row. For attendees who buy Preferred Sightline, they would have to pay more to sit in the middle of the auditorium.

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AMC's Controversial New Price Plan

As for the timeline of AMC Theatres' upcoming strategy, the company announced it would begin its Sightline seating system on Feb. 10 at select locations in New York, Chicago and Kansas City. However, it plans to expand the new method to all domestic AMC locations by the end of 2023. Subscribers to the AMC Stubs A-List program can gain access to Preferred Sightline at no extra cost to their regular monthly membership fee. On Discount Tuesdays, AMC will not sell Sightline seating.

Eliot Hamlish, executive VP and CMO at AMC Theatres, stressed his opinion that moviegoers would pay extra for the perfect seat. "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," Hamlish said. "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."

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In 2022, AMC Theatres stood by its decision to charge Los Angeles moviegoers an extra $1.50 per ticket to watch Warner Bros. Pictures' The Batman. In an earnings call with investors, AMC CEO Adam Aron revealed that the company had practiced this strategy for years in its European theaters. "In Europe, we charge a premium for the best seats in the house, as do just about all other sellers of tickets in other industries — think sports events, concerts, and live theater, for example," Aron said.

In addition to criticizing AMC's financial experiment, Wood slammed Variety's The Worst Films of 2022 list, as a "gross and unnecessary practice."

Source: Twitter

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