AMC Entertainment, the #2 theater chain in in the U.S., announced a plan to shareholders to accelerate the rollout of its ongoing “customer experience initiatives” by 20% this year - or approximately $39 million dollars - over what they had already planned to spend in the initiative, and will be primarily used to “support the acceleration of recliner re-seat initiatives, additional MacGuffins bars and IMAX screens.”
According to AMC, more recliner seats = higher revenue. During the second quarter of 2014, admissions revenues per screen increased by 33 percent at AMC’s 44 recliner re-seat locations.
“Our comfort and convenience strategic action front, best illustrated by our recliner reseats, continues to significantly outperform the industry, even in a cyclical year,” said Gerry Lopez, AMC president and chief executive officer in the release.
Why the acceleration during what’s a down year at the box office? AMC expects theatres benefiting from the accelerated investment to be “better positioned to capitalize on the anticipated improvements in the 2015 film line up.” Meaning 2014 didn’t have an Avengers: Age of Ultron and Star Wars Episode VII (not to mention Jurassic World, Bond 24 and Fast and Furious 7), and 2015 does.
So what does this mean for you? If you live near an AMC theater, when Han Solo escorts a new generation of Rebel forces in the Millennium Falcon, you can likely watch with your feet up.