MoviePass, who no one has actually been able to figure out how they make money yet, wasn’t exactly thrilled with AMC Theatres announcing their own version of a movie ticket subscription service on Wednesday.
In case you missed it, AMC Theatres announced their new $20 a month AMC Stubs A-List program will begin on Tuesday, June 26th. With this plan, members will be able to watch up to three movies per week, along with all the benefits of AMC Stubs Premiere, for $19.95 (plus tax) per month.
Also, unlike with MoviePass, AMC Stubs A-List members can purchase tickets well in advance of seeing the film, and will also be able to watch movies at any AMC location, and for any format — including IMAX at AMC, Dolby Cinema at AMC, RealD 3D, Prime at AMC and BigD, plus several other benefits MoviePass does not provide.
All in all it actually sounds like a very good plan for anyone with an AMC movie theater complex available nearby. Not that the folks at MoviePass think so, tweeting…
“Heard AMC Theaters jumped on board the movie subscription train. Twice the price for 1/4 the theater network and 60% fewer movies. Thanks for making us look good AMC!” and “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.”
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Adam Aron, CEO of AMC, the biggest theater chain in America with 2,200 screens, explained that while their price might be higher, there’s good reason for that.
“Our program will be profitable while others struggle to be profitable,” said Aron, who was clearly talking about MoviePass, which has been hemorrhaging money while the company that owns it, Helios & Matheson, has seen their stock price drop all the way to $0.337, down 99% from $38.86 in October.
In very related news, the same day AMC announced their new ticket plan, Deadline reported that MoviePass announced “new subscribers as of July will face a $2 surcharge on those titles which the MoviePass mobile app deems popular, particularly event titles during opening weekend.”
Meanwhile, the folks at Imax are very happy with AMC’s new movie ticket subscription plan with their CEO Richard L. Gelfond saying in a statement, “We expect to see a surge in demand for Imax tickets from this exciting new program, which should drive incremental revenue to Imax theatres by offering consumers – for the first time – the freedom to experience blockbusters such as Jurassic World in Imax over standard offerings for no additional upcharge.”
MoviePass also announced on Wednesday that they too will begin offering the option to purchase Imax and RealD tickets — with a $2 to $6 premium per ticket.