Survey finds more than half of millennials, Gen Zers willing to spend more on movie tickets for better seats

AMC Theaters has been testing a seat location-based pricing system

More than half of U.S. millennials and Generation Z members expressed a willingness to spend a bit more money for better seats at the movies, while older generations were less likely to do so, according to a Morning Consult survey released Friday.

Among millennials, 54% said they would be willing to some extent to pay a "$1-2 additional fee on top of the general ticket price" for the "most desirable" movie theater seats, with 30% indicating they’d be "somewhat willing" and 24% saying they're "very willing," the survey showed. About 45% said they wouldn’t be willing to do so. 

An AMC theater lobby

Movie theater lobby (Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Fifty-two percent of U.S. adults belonging to Generation Z expressed a willingness to pay more for the best movie seats, while 24% said they were "not too willing" and 21% said they were "not at all willing," according to Morning Consult.


Those numbers were notably higher than those for Generation X and Baby Boomers.

Among Gen Xers, 36% were willing to pay more for the "most desirable seats," Morning Consult found. Only 8% of Baby Boomers said they were "very willing," and 17% said they were "somewhat" willing. 

Over two-thirds of Baby Boomers and over half of Gen Xers reported an unwillingness to buy higher-priced tickets for better spots in the theater.


Moviegoers at the screening of "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" at an AMC theater Sept. 4, 2021, in Monterey Park, Calif. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images / Getty Images)

The two younger generations, Morning Consult reported, were "most likely" to express a willingness to "take a $1-2 discount on the general ticket price" to get the "least desirable seats."

Additionally, Generation Zers and millennials were more likely than Generation X and Baby Boomers to think a system of seat prices differing by location in the theater was "appropriate."

Of the Gen Zers and millennials surveyed, 54% and 46%, respectively, indicated they thought it was "appropriate" for theaters to have a system "where the most desirable seats cost the most and the least desirable cost the least," the Morning Consult survey said. Just under one-third of Gen Xers and 23% of Baby Boomers indicated they felt the same way.

In a survey question and in its report, Morning Consult referenced the Sightline at AMC pricing plan that AMC Theaters said last month it will eventually apply to all of its domestic locations. FOX Business reached out to AMC for comment on the survey.


Sightline by AMC has standard, value and preferred seating options, with the value option costing a lower price for seats in the front row and the preferred costing slightly more than standard for seats in the middle, according to AMC’s press release. Only those who are Stubs members have access to the value pricing.

"In inflationary times, costs rise, so prices rise," AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron tweeted in early February. "Under the old system, our only option was to raise prices on all seats. Sightline lets us raise prices only on our most popular seats, but we can also hold the line on Standard seats & actually cut prices on Value seats."

The company will "carefully monitor reaction by moviegoers during the test," he also said.

Morning Consult’s survey took place March 17-19 and involved about 2,200 U.S. adults. Its margin of error was 2%.


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