Why it matters: AMC Theatres is abandoning a pilot program in which the movie chain experimented with charging different prices for tickets based on where you wanted to sit. AMC introduced Sightline earlier this year at select locations. The program was loosely based on other entertainment venue pricing models that charge different rates depending on where you sit in the theater.

The most common seats in auditoriums fell under the standard tier and were priced in line with the traditional cost of a ticket. Value seats, like those in the front row, were available at a discount, while preferred seating (those in the middle of the room) carried a slight premium.

Ultimately, AMC found that most customers were unfazed by the program and pricing structure. That is, those who previously purchased tickets in the preferred sections continued to do so even with the upcharge applied. What's more, AMC saw little to no increase in front-row attendance despite reduced pricing. The straw that broke the camel's back, however, was the fact that competitors didn't follow suit.

In light of everything, AMC has decided to discontinue the Sightline pilot program. Operations will be wrapping up in the coming weeks, we're told, and the program will not be rolled out nationwide as originally planned.

It's not terribly surprising that AMC's pilot came up short, but it is encouraging to see them willing to take chances and try new things. Far too often, companies get stuck in a rut and fail to innovate. Eventually the market leaves them in the dust and by the time they realize there's a problem, it's too late to try and correct course.

Personally, I'm surprised that movie theaters are still even a thing in 2023. We've had the technology to deliver content directly to homes for decades, and big screen televisions are more affordable now than ever. Home audio systems aren't too shabby, either. It seemed like the pandemic would be the final nail in the coffin for public theaters, but here we are.

Image credit: Tima Miroshnichenko, Cottonbro Studios