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On June 20, the battle was joined: The biggest name in discount movie ticketing, MoviePass, received a full-bore challenge from the world’s largest exhibitor, AMC. Starting today, the companies offer competing subscription plans designed to increase theater attendance.
MoviePass has 3 million members, but its future is uncertain at best: It pays theaters full price for each ticket allocated to its growing membership, which means it needs a significant number of subscribers who don’t use the membership in order to be profitable. To recoup costs, MoviePass frequently alters its terms of service — more upcoming changes were outlined in an email to subscribers this weekend — which does little to instill faith among confused customers.
AMC - Stubs - A-List - Launches - Today
AMC Stubs A-List launches today, but their subscriber rolls will be bolstered by its popular loyalty program, which has more than 10 million members. And in case its MoviePass animosity was unclear — their respective CEOs already have insulted one another in shareholders calls and on Twitter — the press release announcing its new Stubs A-List subscription featured the word “sustainable” right at the top.
And while MoviePass and AMC currently are the biggest players in discount movie-ticket subscriptions, they aren’t the only oes. In the past few days alone, Sinemia injected itself in the conversation by announcing a bevy of family plans, while Alamo Drafthouse revealed that it will beta test Alamo Season this summer at its Yonkers, NY location.
MoviePass - Legacy - Impact - Three-quarters - Moviegoers
Whatever may happen to MoviePass, it will have a legacy in its long-term impact. While about three-quarters of moviegoers still queue to buy tickets, it’s clear that the industry expects that to change. As investment research firm analyst Eric Handler of MKM Partners told Variety last week, “The whole U.S. economy is moving towards a subscription model. It’s not just Netflix or Hulu … It’s what consumers want.”
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