AMC movie theater in New York.
Scott Millian | CNBC
AMC Entertainment It dropped plans to charge customers variable prices for cinema seats.
The company announced its “Sightline” pricing strategy in February and tested it at select locations in three US markets. The program costs moviegoers more to get the best theater seats, or “preferred line of sight” seats.
Related investment news
The program also lowered prices for seats deemed less attractive to patrons, such as those in the front row of theaters.
The change comes as the movie theater industry struggles during its slow summer blockbuster season. And theaters are counting on this week’s releases of Barbie and Oppenheimer to bring much-needed foot traffic to theaters.
Shares of AMC Entertainment fell less than 1% on Thursday. The stock is up more than 5% this year, lagging behind the broader market.
Preferred Sightline seats included select locations in the middle of the auditorium that were preferred by some moviegoers, while Value Sightline seats were those usually located in the front row.
The chain said the program will end at participating locations in the coming weeks.
The decision comes after the pilot program showed moviegoers had little or no interest in sitting in the front row, despite lower prices. The company said it also found that most moviegoers continued to choose the seats they preferred, even at higher prices.
The company added that the focus is ensuring that AMC’s ticket prices remain competitive. Other theater chains like the Regal don’t charge higher prices for better seats.
The movie theater chain said it will now focus on testing front-row seats with more comfortable seats at select locations in the US later this year.
CNBC has reached out to AMC for additional comment.