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AMC’s new ticket pricing based on seat location is not the answer, says research organization

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AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc.’s move to price tickets based on seat location is not the answer to the challenges the company faces, according to research organization Customer Management Practice.

This week AMC
announced Sightline at AMC, a program that assigns prices to seats based on sightlines to the movie screen. But Mario Matulich, president of Customer Management Practice, thinks that the initiative does little to address the broader issues facing the movie-theater chain and meme-stock darling.

“When we look at AMC and their recent sales results, is the answer to the problem pricing optimization based on seating location?” Matulich wrote in a statement emailed to MarketWatch. “No,” he added. “AMC has been disrupted.”

Related: AMC rolls out movie-ticket pricing determined by seat location

Convenience is now the driving factor in how movies are watched, according to Matulich. “[AMC’s] previous customer hasn’t gone across the street to Regal Entertainment,” he wrote, adding that customers have instead shifted their loyalty to streaming services they can watch from the comfort of their homes. 

“The fact is that the moviegoing experience is no longer meeting the needs of the customer,” Matulich wrote. “The current customer has evolved.”

In November, AMC announced its 12th consecutive quarterly loss. The company’s sales were $968.4 million, compared with $763.2 million in the same period last year.

Related: Is the golden age of the meme-stock rally over?

AMC describes itself as the largest movie-theater company in the world, with approximately 950 theaters and 10,500 screens across the globe.

The chain has been on a roller-coaster ride over the past two years that has taken it from beleaguered pandemic victim to meme-stock phenomenon. AMC used the steep rise in its share price to tap into equity and debt markets, raising $917 million in January 2021. 

AMC’s stock fell 10.3% Tuesday, compared with the S&P 500’s
gain of 8.4%.


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