Elijah Wood slams AMC Theaters new plan to change ticket prices bases on ‘sightline’
Actor Elijah Wood has slammed a new ticket pricing scheme introduced by AMC Theaters that will charge movie-goers based on their sightline to the screen.
The Lord of the Rings star hit out at the cost-cutting ticketing plan, as he claims that lower-income earners will be ‘penalized’ with poorer seats.
AMC Theaters, America’s largest movie theater chain, announced the new pricing plan on Monday. The proposal will see seats in the middle of the theater cost up to $2 more, while seats with a worse view will come slightly cheaper.
Dubbed ‘Sightline’, the new plan follows in the footsteps of airplane seating and sporting events in offering those willing to pay more with a better spot.
But Wood took offence to the new plan, slamming AMC for ruining the ‘sacred democratic space’ that is a movie theater.
Actor Elijah Wood has slammed a new ticket price plan from AMC Theaters, claiming lower income earners will be penalized with poorer seats
AMC Theaters announced on Monday it is introducing a new scheme that will see central location seats cost up to $2 more, while seats with a worse sightline will be $2 cheaper
Taking to Twitter on Monday following the announcement, the actor said: ‘The movie theater is and always has been a sacred democratic space for all and this new initiative by @AMCTheatres would essentially penalize people for lower income and reward for higher income.’
Wood, who is best known for his role as Frodo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, took offence to the theater chain’s new price proposal, which will come in three different tiers.
Beginning on Friday, the initiative will see punters in selected venues offered a choice between Standard Sightline, Value Sightline and Preferred Sightline.
The price points will range from standard price, $2 off for a value seat, and $2 extra for a preferred seat in a prime location.
Wood was joined by others who criticized the move, with some feeling it will contribute to the decline of movie theater attendance following the pandemic.
Actor and director Stephen Ford responded: ‘You know what waiting for streaming ain’t that bad.’
‘It’ll just make people stay home more often than not,’ said another.
One disgruntled movie-goer said: ‘We have 5 kids & going to the movies is so expensive. We rarely go anymore – Tickets, Popcorn, drinks & it’s $150.
‘We can rent a brand-new release, pop our own popcorn & spend $20 to stay at home. They’re already losing customers so they make it even more expensive? Genius!’
The new system will be rolled out in select theaters from Friday, before it will be introduced to all of AMC’s nearly 600 theaters by the end of the year
The Lord of the Rings star took to Twitter on Monday to slam AMC’s proposal for ruining the ‘sacred democratic space’ of movie theaters
Following the new plan’s introduction on Friday, AMC says it will expand the initiative to its nearly 600 theaters across the US by the end of the year.
When purchasing tickets, moviegoers will be prompted to choose between Standard, Value, and Preferred Sightline seats, AMC officials say.
The company described its Standard Sightline option as the ‘seats that are the most common in auditoriums and are available for the traditional cost of a ticket.’
Value Sightline will be offered to those who want a cheaper seat, which will be found ‘in the front row of the auditorium, as well as select ADA seats in each auditorium.’
Preferred Sightline is the ‘seats in the middle of the auditorium and are priced at a premium to standard sightline seats.’
The seating plan will also only initially apply to movies that will start after 4pm, and will not apply to the company’s ‘Discount Tuesdays’ deal where all films are $5.
The cheaper value sightline seats will also only be available to AMC Stubs members, the theater’s free membership that provides moviegoers with access to perks like free popcorn refills, a birthday gift, and rewards vouchers.
Members of AMC Stubs A-List, the theater’s paid subscription service, will be able to reserve seats in the Preferred Sightline Section at no additional cost.
The price plan will be split into three separate tiers, where movie goers will have the option between standard, cheaper and more expensive seats
Sightline will first be unveiled on February 10 in theaters in New York, Chicago, and Kansas City.
Following the announcement, one Twitter user in New York shared screenshots of the color-coded price layout, which shows far fewer value seats than the other options offered.
The theater contains just 15 Value Sightline tickets, compared to the 77 Preferred Sightline seats and the 100-plus Standard Sightline tickets.
‘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,’ said Eliot Hamlisch, executive VP and CMO at AMC Theatres.
‘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.
‘Sightline at AMC accommodates both sentiments to help ensure that our guests have more control over their experience, so that every trip to an AMC is a great one.’