MoviePass is a service that has been taking America by storm. In just four months since they lowered their price from $50 a month to its current price of $9.95, they’ve reportedly signed up over a million subscribers. MoviePass charges its users a monthly fee and allows them to see up to one movie a day, every day as long as they’re a subscriber. In our main article about MoviePass, we explain what it is, how it works, and how good of a deal it is, but some people don’t agree. Those people just happen to be the executives of major theater chains like AMC.
MoviePass’s impact on AMC
At first glance you might think that AMC would love MoviePass. With stagnated or decreasing movie attendance numbers, MoviePass should help to revitalize the industry. And while it seems to be making more people go to the movies, AMC isn’t quite enjoying it.
AMC released a press release that said MoviePass was “Not Welcome Here” right in the title. AMC does explain some of it’s reasoning, but it can be summarized by one sentence from the press release:
MoviePass’s business plan is a “crazy plan”
AMC theaters noted that the average ticket price at their locations was $9.33. Since MoviePass costs only 62 cents more than that a month, it’s pretty obvious that after the first movie each subscriber sees the company will lose money. AMC believes that this price is unsustainable and will only set its users up for disappointment in the future if MoviePass fails. They believe that promoting “unlimited” first-run movie content below $10 a month will inhibit their ability to operate quality theaters and reduce the film industry’s ability to make quality new movies.
It’s hard to not see where AMC is coming from. Some of their beliefs do raise a lot of questions though. How many people who are going to the movies with MoviePass are going more than once a month? How many of those people are buying food/drinks from the theater? Would any of those people even go to the movies at all without MoviePass? With only four months of MoviePass’s new price and without access to MoviePass’s data, we can only speculate on it’s impact to the industry.
AMC believes that unless MoviePass changes its pricing model or has some other idea for alternate revenue streams that it is destined for failure. Although that may be true, it’s a fantastic change in a stagnated industry and is a great deal for its subscribers. Perhaps AMC will stop supporting the service, but because MoviePass is basically just a debit card, it’s hard to see how they’ll do that.
Competition on the rise
If AMC doesn’t like MoviePass, I can only imagine what they think about other similar services popping up. Cinemark Theaters just introduced Cinemark Movie Club, but it doesn’t come close to what MoviePass offers.
Competition is great for the consumers, but it’s not really fair to call this competition. The Cinemark Movie Club is basically just a $2 off coupon a month. Considering how much money you can save with a MoviePass subscription, it seems like there’s some room for improvement on Cinemark’s part. Any competition is a great sign and could potentially mean more and better deals for movie goers. If the trend continues maybe we’ll see AMC make their own service since they dislike MoviePass so much!