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Reclining Seats, Dine-in Menus Boost Movie Ticket Sales for AMC

An AMC Movie Theater in Braintree, Massachusetts
An AMC Movie Theater in Braintree, MassachusettsPhotograph by Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

To fill more seats, AMC Entertainment is taking a bunch of them out. The Wall Street Journal reports that the movie theater chain is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to install fully reclining La-Z-Boy-style loungers in more than a third of its auditoriums. That will mean fewer chairs, but AMC is betting it will also translate into higher ticket sales.

The company has already had success with the idea: Attendance at its 37 previously “reseated” theaters has increased 80 percent, indicating that people can be lured away from their couches and video streaming services with the promise of a big screen and comfy chairs. Similarly, box office revenue was up more than 60 percent at those theaters, AMC Chief Executive Officer Gerry Lopez told the Journal. That’s uplifting news for the U.S. film industry, which has seen domestic ticket sales remain little changed over the past 10 years, according to the Motion Picture Association of America.