AMC Theaters have announced their own movie subscription service. This new service serves as a rival to MoviePass, which has made a big splash over the last handful of months by allowing people to see a movie a day for a $9.95 monthly subscription fee. However, their business model has been criticized by many as unsustainable, including by AMC, and now the theater chain's own rewards program looks like it could offer some serious competition.
The new service, AMC Stubs-A-List, costs more than MoviePass at $19.95 a month, but the benefits may well justify the cost. Users can see up to three movies per week and, unlike MoviePass, there are no restrictions on the type of movie. IMAX, 3D, it's all on the table. Stubs-A-List also allows for users to purchase tickets ahead of time online or through the AMC app. MoviePass users can only purchase tickets on the day of a showing and, in most cases, they have to be at the theater before the ticket can be purchased. That represents a major inconvenience for many and that could make AMC's service worth the extra money for many moviegoers. AMC Theatres CEO Adam Aron had this to say in a statement.
"We believe that our current and future loyal guests will be interested in this type of program, as AMC Stubs A-List rewards guests with something that no one else offers: the very best of AMC, including IMAX, Dolby Cinema and RealD 3D up to 3 times per week, for one simple, sustainable price."
That "sustainable price" bit is no doubt a dig at MoviePass. Their service has gone as low as $6.95 a month, which is less than the cost of a single movie ticket in most cases. The service's parent company Helios and Matheson insists that they are in no danger of going under and the service recently hit the 3 million subscriber mark. However, Helios and Matheson's stock has plummeted in recent months and increasingly, there have been those doubting the longevity of this particular business model.
Not only does AMC Stubs-A-List allow for purchasing tickets ahead of time and premium format viewing, but they also offer subscribers other benefits such as free upgrades on popcorn and soda and no online ticket fees. That is sure to be appealing for many, but the benefits with MoviePass are still clear. MoviePass works at most theaters in the U.S., not just AMC, because the company pays full price for each and every ticket. Plus, at least for the time being, that $9.95 a month price point is still more attractive.
We'll have to see if this move from AMC cuts into the growth projected by MoviePass or not. It will also be interesting to see if chains like the Alamo Drafthouse follow suit and create their own similar service. Cinemark already has, but their service hasn't proved to be nearly as attractive to moviegoers. AMC Stubs-A-List launches on Tuesday, June 26. For those wanting to sign up or seeking additional information can head on over to AMC.com.