AMC announces new location-based pricing program: Do consumers think this is a good idea?
February 17th, 2023, Bhavika Bansal

AMC announces new location-based pricing program: Do consumers think this is a good idea?

Earlier this month, AMC theatres rolled out the ‘Sightline’ initiative - its new variable pricing model. Much like they do for concerts, sporting events and Broadway shows, Americans will now have to pay extra for prime seating at an AMC theatre. Kicking off at select AMC locations in New York, Chicago and Kansas City, the Sightline initiative is set to expand to all domestic locations by the end of the year.

Data from a YouGov Profiles poll shows that three-quarters of consumers in the US (75%) say going to the movies is too expensive – a consensus broadly shared by every generation.

Evidently, cost is a pain point for many American moviegoers. A closer look at consumer sentiment towards this announcement reveals that almost half of Americans (47%) think that it is a bad idea for movie theatres to vary the cost of tickets based on seat location.

However, the variable seat pricing model does find some takers, with slightly more than a third of consumers (32%) saying that it is a good idea.

A demographic break-up of data brings out some more interesting nuances. Significantly outpacing the national average, female consumers in the US (56%) say that value-based seat pricing by cinemas is a bad idea. In comparison, 42% of American males say it is a good idea.

Interestingly, almost half of 18-24-year-olds (47%) are open to location-based pricing despite 70% of them agreeing that going to the movie theatre is too expensive. Perhaps these consumers are happy to have a worse view but to enjoy cheaper tickets. 

Though one in four consumers aged between 45 and 64 (24%) and 65 and above (27%) remain on the fence, a majority (63% and 62% respectively) think it is bad idea for cinemas to vary the cost of tickets based on where a person sits in the theatre. 

Will AMC Theatres’ gamble pay off? Only time will tell. For now, the jury on value-based seat pricing in movie theatres is still out.

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Methodology (Profiles): YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for the US is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.

Methodology (Daily): This Daily Questions survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 8,315 U.S. adults interviewed online on February 6 - 7, 2023. The samples were weighted to be representative of the U.S. population, based on gender, age, race, education, U.S. census region, and political party.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.