AMC CEO and apparent lead of their dumb Ideas department Adam Aron, who you might remember from a few years ago when he suggested that texting might begin to be permitted in their theaters before he backpeddled after a firestorm of pushback, has come up with a new way to try to abuse moviegoers.
During an investor call on March 1st, Arno said the company has begun exploring “demand-based” pricing starting with this week’s release of “The Batman.” He expressed the new Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Comics film would be priced “slightly higher” than other films playing at the same time in the same theaters.
“This is all quite novel in the United States, but actually AMC has been doing it for years in our European theaters. Indeed, in Europe, we charge a premium for the best seats in the house, as do just about all of the sellers of tickets in other industries.”Adam Aron, AMC CEO
So if you thought it was already getting a bit pricy to see a film in a theater, now when going to the latest MCU, DC, or really anything else they can squeeze some dollars from, it will cost a bit more. And if his comment above is taken as a guidepost, center seats, and other “preferred” experience items will all come at added cost.
While looking online at AMC ticketing for the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas, prices appear to be between $1 and $2 more per ticket for “The Batman,” than other movies playing at the same time on a comparable screen at the same theater (specifically we compared against the recently released “Uncharted“).
While theaters have invested heavily over the past decade in new seating, improved sound and visuals, and stepping up concessions offerings, they have done little to improve the overall theatergoing experience. Being in a packed theater when scattered individuals start talking full bore, on their phones or among themselves, disrupting the experience for everyone else, except for a very few cases (and at Alamo Drafthouses), theaters do progressively less now than they ever did in the past. It seems that once they part the moviegoers from their funds, the rest of the experience isn’t really where their interest is at.
With much of the country still recovering from years of COVID-19 economic impact, trying to both lure audiences back while at the same time trying to fleece them for increased selective charging is no way to try to make the case that theatrical will always be a better experience.