AMC Theatres has many different ticket prices. A movie after 4:00 PM cost more than a movie before 4:00 PM. A Dolby or IMAX movie costs more than a regular movie. A 3D movie cost more than a 2D movie. Let’s not forget the discounts for children and seniors.
If that wasn’t confusing enough, AMC is introducing location-based seat pricing called Sightline. Where you sit inside the theater determines whether you pay more or less for a ticket. If you don’t want to pay the extra cost for a ticket, AMC has a program for that too.
AMC Sightline Location-Based Seat Prices
Depending on where you sit, your ticket price may stay the same, discounted or increased by $2. I’m using the seating chart from the Daily Mail in Great Britain to illustrate the price changes. The physical layout isn’t representative of the AMC theaters in the United States.
The last theater I went to with a center aisle was 20 years ago. A strip mall movie theater with four seats on each side and the projection screen nailed to the cinder block wall. I saw “The Last Samurai” with Tom Cruise. A great movie if you enjoy Japanese samurai culture.
- The Value Sightline seats are in the first row before the big screen. Those tickets are $2 less than the regular ticket price.
- The Standard Sightline seats are in front and on the sides. Those tickets are at regular ticket price.
- The Preferred Sightline seats are in the middle. Those tickets are $2 more than the regular ticket price.
If the regular ticket price is $15, value seats are $13, standard seats are $15, and preferred seats are $17.
The new seat prices are for showings after 4:00 PM in New York City, Chicago, and Kansas City. The new pricing will roll out to the rest of the United States throughout the year. Doesn’t apply to Discount Tuesday for $5 ticket prices or AMC Stubs A-List members.
AMC Signature Recliner Seats
“Sightline” is a good name for AMC’s new location-based seat pricing. Renovated theaters have the new Signature recliner seats that are wider and more comfortable. They also sit higher than traditional theater seats to have a better “sightline” to the screen.
A renovated theater has half the number of seats found in a traditional theater. With fewer people watching movies, theaters are no longer for the unwashed masses. AMC is catering to the dedicated audience that enjoys watching a movie on the big screen.
Most comments I’ve read about the price changes come from people who haven’t been to a movie theater in decades.
The last movie theater I went to that had “sticky floors” showed two movies for five bucks in an old playhouse in the late 1990s. The two movies I saw was “The X-Files” and “Blue Chips”. You can bet that some of the stickiness on the floor wasn’t from spilled sodas.
AMC Stubs A-List Program
The alternative to AMC’s ticket prices is the Stubs A-List program. Pay $25 per month to see three movies per week in any format at no extra charge. If you do watch three movies per week, your average ticket price is $2.
Why would AMC give away tickets for the cost of slightly more than one ticket per month?
Movie theaters don’t make money on ticket sales. Studios take up to 60% of ticket sales for the opening weekend and reduce their take over time for a movie.
Movie theaters do make money on concessions. The next time you pay $15 for food and drink, $5 is the cost of goods, $5 is labor, and $5 is profit. Almost everyone buys food and drink at a movie theater.
Unless you’re like me and you don’t buy anything. Since I stopped drinking sodas six months ago, theater food tastes pretty bad.
As a Stubs A-List member, I watched 39 movies for an average ticket price of $8 in 2022.
If you still buy individual movie tickets at AMC Theatres, where you sit may cost more or less. If you watch one or more movies per month, sign up for the AMC A-List program to save even more money.
DISCLAIMER: I own shares in AMC Theatre stock and I’m a member of the Investor Connect program. I pay $25 per month as a member of the AMC Stubs A-List program to see three movies per week in any format at no extra charge. AMC provided no compensation or editorial guidance for this post.