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article imageAMC spending $600 million to add recliners to theatres

By Ryan Hite     Jul 7, 2014 in Entertainment
Theater chains like AMC and Regal are ramping up attendance figures by adding more amenities to the theaters at significant costs in the hopes that more come to the movies.
Despite shifting to digital, pushing 3D movies, and raising ticket prices altogether, the movie industry hasn't seen very much growth over the last decade. According to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), 2013 box office revenues only rose 1 percent compared to 2012 and theaters are facing tough competition from the likes of Netflix and other streaming services. To get people to fill more seats, AMC Entertainment, one of the largest theater chains in North America, is spending $600 million over the next five years to outfit 1,800 of its 5,000 auditoriums with recliners. This strategy seems to be working.
The Wall Street Journal reported that AMC is renovating theaters in struggling markets as a means of getting people to come back to the theatres. The renovations themselves are running between $350,000 and $500,000 per auditorium. Adding the bigger, comfier seats reduces seating capacity by up to 70 percent across the board. The work seems to be paying off despite this. While they wouldn't give hard numbers for attendance before and after the renovations, AMC says that attendance rose by 80 percent on average.
AMC isn't charging extra for the new amenities, but ticket prices will indeed go up a year after the renovations of most theatres. The strategy is starting a shift across the industry. Regal Entertainment is now starting up its own renovation process by adding recliners in 25 of its own theaters. However, more costs and needs are on the way. CEO Gerry Lopez told the Wall Street Journal that people have started to expect things like nicer bathrooms and increased food options in addition to the nicer seats.
More about Amc, Movie theatres, Movies, Theatres, theatre revenue
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