AMC Theaters doesn't like MoviePass. In case you haven't heard, MoviePass is basically trying to become the Netflix of going out to the movies. Instead of paying for each movie individually, you pay $9.95/month and can see any movie you want.
But there are some rules for MoviePass:
- You can't see the same movie twice
- You can only see 2-D movies, no 3-D or IMAX
- You can only purchase tickets at the theater on the same day
- There are a few theaters they don't service, like the Nexus Cinema Dining concept in Mobile
But if you go to more than one movie a month, the service pays for itself. They'll send you a Mastercard, which works just like any other Mastercard when you go to the box office to pay for your ticket. We've found that the one annoyance is that each ticket must be purchased separately. So my wife and I going together will mean two transactions.
A New Competitor Enters the "Unlimited" Game
AMC Theaters, as the most vocal critic of MoviePass, has launched its own program which seems designed to put MoviePass out of business. After all, MoviePass is burning through an estimated $21.7 million each month with their current business model.
AMC's program, called AMC Stubs A-List, will launch next week for $19.95/month. For twice the price as MoviePass, you still get some nice benefits:
- You can see up to three movies per week (MoviePass allows one per day)
- You can see 3-D and IMAX movies (not allowed by MoviePass)
- You can get tickets in advance online with no fees (MoviePass only allows same day walk-ups)
- You can see the same movie as much as you want (MoviePass only allows one viewing)
- Some free food upgrades
The new program from AMC does a good job of exploiting the weaknesses of MoviePass, but is it enough to pay twice the price for fewer theater options? MoviePass seems to think the AMC program highlights just how good a value MoviePass is...
AMC has repeatedly disparaged our model as a way to discourage our growth because all along they wanted to launch their own, more expensive plan. We want to make movies more accessible, they want more profit.— MoviePass (@MoviePass) June 20, 2018
But for people who really want to see the IMAX and 3-D movies and who typically patronize one or two movie theaters within the AMC chain -- we have a lot of AMC theaters on the Gulf Coast -- AMC Stubs A-List may win the day.
I'll probably stick with MoviePass, because I can use it most anywhere. It's still good at AMC Theaters, along with Regal Theaters and the Crescent Theater in Downtown Mobile.