Variety is reporting that the U.S.’s largest theatre chain will directly compete with the $9.99 subscription service that MoviePass offers. Beginning Tuesday, AMC will begin offering a chance for guests to watch up to three movies per-week for only $19.95 a month. AMC proudly calls this new program “sustainable.”
The plan will be attached to AMC’s loyalty program, called AMC Stubs, and will be called AMC Stubs A-List. Unlike MoviePass, fans who join this loyalty service will be able to see movies in IMAX, Dolby Cinema, and RealD. Currently, MoviePass only allows consumers to see movies in 2D. While MoviePass hasn’t always been transparent for subscribers, it could be argued that the service has made going to the movies affordable for a large number of the general audience.
Variety reports that since 2002, “ticket prices have increased by 54%, while ticket sales have fallen 22%.” A shocking analysis of the current theatre business. Ticket prices have been raised to match the decline in attendance and some of the new features that larger chains are adding (seats, restaurants, bars). AMC heavily criticized MoviePass last year when the company cut their subscription prices way down, calling it “unsustainable.” In April, an internal auditor for MoviePass’ parent company, Helios & Matheson, had “substantial doubts” regarding the company’s business practices with declining stock value.
My personal outlook on the whole situation: I believe AMC’s subscription service could be more beneficial for the longevity of these subscription-based services. MoviePass has had a bad week, including the controversy surrounding the new Travolta film, Gotti (2018). The good news: we will most likely see other theatre chains start to capitalize on this trend in the near future. It’s good for the theatre chains and studio heads to give movie fans an incentive to go see these movies, whether they are indie films or summer blockbusters. How do these services sound to you? Let us know in the comments below!