In 2011, MoviePass, owned by Helios and Matheson Analytics, was unveiled. And the idea behind the subscription-based movie ticketing service is a beautiful thing. For only $10 per month, subscribers can watch a different movie every single day of the week at a fraction of the normal ticket price.The way it works is pretty simple. Once a subscriber signs up, a credit card is sent to their mailbox within two weeks. Using the MoviePass app, subscribers just select the movie of choice — time and location being the primary data needed. From that point, the card is loaded with a credit, allowing the pass holder to swipe it as the box office window as per usual. The only catch is that a subscriber must make sure their theater of choice accepts MoviePass.
There are caveats to the MoviePass subscription though. Pass holders cannot enjoy specialty movie showings in 3D and can only watch one movie per day. No binging allowed. You also can’t see the same movie more than once.
AMC Stubs A-List subscription — dissected
- $20 per month for up to three movies per week.
AMC Theatres wanted in on all the fun, so it made sure to let MoviePass test the waters before taking the deep-dive on its own. The company was founded in 1920 and has managed to become America’s largest movie theater chain. So when it announced it was rolling out its own subscription service, aptly named AMC Stubs A-List, it did so with a bang. Right out of the gate, it is double the cost of MoviePass, making potential consumers wonder what the perks could be.
So, what’s the big to-do? A-List subscribers have the option to watch whatever movie they wish to see, without having to worry about whether or not they’ll be able to get a seat. That’s because they can book their seat in advance. Furthermore, pass holders are allowed to enjoy specialty movies in 3D, as well as films shown at IMAX theatres. They’ll also be able to see the same movie more than once and see more than one movie per day. A-List seems to be winning when it comes to the convenience factor.
Which one is better?
It depends who you ask. AMC’s CEO Adam Aron claims that its package is better because not only is it sustainable, but it better serves the movie industry. MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe has a different opinion. He took to Twitter to defend his service, 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! 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.
The thing is, the A-List subscription may cost more, but that fact alone conveys a more sustainable approach with more flexibility to see more of the films subscribers want to see. While moviegoers focused on cost alone will likely prefer MoviePass, film buffs who want access to perks like premium screenings in IMAX and 3D might benefit more from AMC’s offering.
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