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Elijah Wood Slams AMC For 'Penalizing People With Lower Income' With New Seat Location Pricing

The 'Lord of the Rings' star is calling out the movie theater chain over their controversial new 'Sightline' initiative.

Elijah Wood; AMC theatre marquee
Chelsea Guglielmino/WireImage/Getty Images; Noam Galai/Getty Images

Elijah Wood has spoken out against AMC theaters for introducing a new tiered pricing system that he believes is "penalizing people with lower income."

The Kansas-based movie theater chain with locations around the world is about to start implementing a change in the way moviegoers can maximize their experiences in theaters.

Sightline at AMC is a new seat pricing initiative that will benefit patrons selecting prime seats in auditoriums if they pay a little extra on top of the standard admission cost.

Touted as the "next evolution of value pricing," AMC will offer three options: Standard, Value and Preferred seating.

The seating model is based on live event venues like Broadway houses or concert arenas, where the price of a ticket depends on where audience members select seats.

But unlike the coveted seats near the front of the stage in live theatrical events, the front row in movie theaters is undesirable.

As such, Sightline will charge less for front-row seats and more for the ones located in the preferred middle sections in AMC auditoriums.

The "Standard" seats will be sold at the regular admission cost, and the "Value" seats will cost less.

But opting out of the upgrade and sitting up front will still come at a cost as patrons will be forced to crane their necks upward for 2+ hours.

Patrons selecting "Preferred" seating will sit at an optimal vantage point if they are willing to shell out a few more bucks.

Those who are members of the AMC Stubs A-List rewards program can select Preferred Sightline seats at no additional cost.

But is it all worth it?

Elijah Wood doesn't think so.

In fact, the Lord of the Rings actor thinks the hierarchical seating arrangement will breed resentment.

On Monday, he tweeted:

"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."

The average moviegoer couldn't agree more.

While streaming movies from the comfort of one's home has deterred people from physically going to the cinema post-pandemic, some users think Sightline would be a further detriment to movie theater ticket sales.

Others, however, think Sightline is a worthy solution for audiences who want more control in their moviegoing experience.

In the official AMC press release, the company's Chief Marketing Officer Eliot Hamlisch said:

"Sightline at AMC more closely aligns AMC’s seat pricing approach to that of many other entertainment venues, offering experience-based pricing and another way for moviegoers to find value at the movies."
"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."

AMC has already launched Sightline in select markets across the country and is expected to continue expanding until the end of the year.

For those wishing to avoid making a decision about where to sit and pay accordingly, there's some good news.

The AMC website states that the Sightline program is applied to all showings that begin after 4 p.m. at select locations and "is not available on Discount Tuesday at AMC."

Fancy a matinee?