As had been previously reported, but has now been made official, Regal Cinemas is getting in on the movie ticket subscription game. MoviePass may very well be on life support, but the idea of allowing moviegoers to purchase a subscription, rather than each ticket individually, is something that has caught on in a big way. Now, Regal Unlimited will be entering the marketplace and will give cinema lovers the chance to see as many movies as they wish for one price. However, this one comes with a pretty big catch.
First, the nuts and bolts. The program is rolling out nationwide and will have three different tiers; Unlimited, Unlimited Plus and Unlimited All Access. Basically, each tier allows access to more theaters across the country. Unlimited provides access to 200 screens in smaller markets across the country, whereas Unlimited All Access will give users the option to see movies at any of Regal's 560-plus locations across the U.S. Here's how the chain describes the program.
"With an annual Regal Unlimited subscription, you can watch as many movies as you want, as many times as you want, whenever you want, wherever you want. Plus, get advance tickets as soon as they go on sale, enjoy 10% off all food and non-alcoholic beverages in theatre, and all the Regal Crown Club perks."
This is ambitious. Users can see movies multiples times, unrestricted. That was a key issue with MoviePass as things heated up. Now for the catch. Those who sign up for Regal Unlimited will have to sign on for a one-year term which is non-cancelable, which is huge. That means, should the program not pan out, users are locked in for 12 months no matter what. As for the pricing, the Unlimited Plan is $18 per month/$216 annually, Unlimited Plus Plan is $21 per month/ $252 annually and Unlimited All Access Plan is $23 per month/ $282.00 annually.
MoviePass shook up the industry in a big way by offering a one movie per day plan for $9.95 a month in 2017. That led to a meteoric rise, and subsequent epic crash, as their business model proved to be unsustainable. However, out of the ashes rose other services such as AMC Stubs A-List, which now has more than 800,000 subscribers, and Cinemark Movie Club, which is far more limited but still chugging along. The Alamo Drafthouse is also getting ready to roll out its own subscription plan in the near future. MoviePass had a good idea, they just had a terrible business model.
Regal, on paper, has the most comprehensive program. Users can pay a fee to upgrade to premium formats such as 3D and it truly is unlimited. It should also be noted that users still have to pay a 50 cent convenience fee per ticket reservation, but that's minimal for people who go to the movies often enough to justify signing up. It's just a matter of pulling the trigger on that one-year commitment. For more information, head on over to RegalMovies.com.