Movies for autistic kids earns AMC top billing

AMC Theatres has won a large tub of good will with extra butter for its low-priced series of "sensory friendly screenings" for autistic children -- the next is "How to Train Your Dragon" at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 10, at participating theaters.

The program also helped recent AMC missteps fade to black.

AMC and other exhibitors invited the wrath of a recession-pounded public when they hiked up ticket prices last month by double-digit percentages. Cineplexes want more of the action from 3-D blockbusters such as "Avatar" and "Alice in Wonderland." But that was AMC's second act. In November it ushered in a new era of Scrooge-like greed by announcing that it would enforce a no-outside-snack rule. That inspired a sneak visit by this WalletPopper, armed with a 7-Eleven full of crunchy contraband.