America's prominent movie-theatre chains, ranked from best to worst by audiences

Sarah Jacobs
  • A new Market Force Information survey found which theatre chains are the most popular among nearly 13,000 participants.
  • The survey asked participants to rank each brand based on a Composite Loyalty Index, and then ranked each chain based on its average score.
  • Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas took the top spot, and swept the concessions categories for its convenience and variety.

2018 has been a big year for movies at the box office. This summer alone raked in nearly $US5 billion (thanks to an early start with “Avengers: Infinity War”) – the second-biggest haul for a summer ever. That’s a significant improvement from last summer, which was the worst at the box office in over a decade.

That means people still enjoy going to the theatre to see movies on the big screen. And they enjoy some theatre chains more than others.

A new survey from customer experience management company Market Force Information found which North American movie-theatre chains were audiences’ favourites. Nearly 13,000 people participated in the survey, which asked participants to rank each brand based on a Composite Loyalty Index, which factored in convenience of location, seating, show time selection, available movies, types and price of concessions, box-office service, and more.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas, with its unique in-theatre food and drink service, took the top spot in the survey with a score of 72%. It ranked highest among moviegoers in categories like previous good experience, value for money spent, staff courtesy and helpfulness, and variety of concessions. It swept the concessions and box-office rankings.

Harkins Theatres came in a close second with an overall score of 68%, with participants ranking it the best in convenient locations and second in ticket-collector courtesy (Alamo ranked first) and showtime selection (Studio Movie Grill ranked first with a 41% score). Marcus Theatres landed at third with an overall score of 64%.

Landmark Theatres ranked first among participants in movie-title selection with a 43% score.

AMC didn’t fare as well as other chains despite its efforts to compete with MoviePass this summer with its own theatre-subscription program. It ranked ninth among the 11 theatres included in the survey with a score of 53%.

Brand loyalty will be especially important to chains that want to roll out their own movie-theatre subscription programs to compete with MoviePass.

AMC Theatres introduced its own this summer and attracted 260,000 subscribers in its first two months, and Alamo is testing a beta that had a waitlist of over 40,000 after only a month.

Below is a chart of each chain included in the survey, and where they ranked:

Favourite Movie-Theatre Chains (Overall Results)

Marketforce theatre surveyMarket Force Information

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