AMC is not happy about MoviePass’ $9.95-a-month movie-going pass

Perhaps a $9.95-a-month movie-going subscription was too good to be true.

MoviePass made the media rounds on Tuesday with its new, Netflix-esque plan to attract movie lovers to the theaters. For just $9.95 a month, MoviePass said subscribers can watch one movie a day at theaters under its plan.

While consumers may have loved it, AMC — MoviePass’ biggest movie theater partner — did not.

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AMC on Wednesday publicly denounced MoviePass’s plan, saying “that price level is unsustainable and only sets up consumers for ultimate disappointment down the road if or when the product can no longer be fulfilled.”

AMC also said it is considering legal action to stop MoviePass — which it called a “a small fringe player” — in AMC theaters.

MoviePass would take the brunt of the financial cost by paying for the difference between the $9.95 and the actual box office ticket cost per month per customer.

MoviePass is able to do that after it sold its majority share to Helios and Matheson Analytics, a data brokerage firm in New York City. Helios and Matheson will be providing the cash reserves in hopes that it can collect behavioral data of movie-going customers to eventually target ads, according to a report from Bloomberg on Tuesday.

For AMC, there is little incentive beyond a possible uptick in attendance and the assurance that MoviePass (and Helios and Matheson) picks up the subscribers’ tab. The average ticket price at a AMC ticket is $9.93, according to AMC.

MoviePass and AMC launched a pilot program together in 2015 in select markets to see if subscriptions can work for movie theater lovers. At the time, MoviePass’s subscription was priced at $30 to $45 a month.

“AMC also believes that promising essentially unlimited first-run movie content at a price below $10 per month over time will not provide sufficient revenue to operate quality theatres nor will it produce enough income to provide film makers with sufficient incentive to make great new movies,” said AMC.

Photo: Moviegoers purchase tickets at an AMC movie theater in Arcadia, California on August 2, 2017. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)


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  • rcurrier

    AMC is being disingenuous at best. Most of the money from ticket sales goes to the film’s distributor. Theaters make their money on popcorn, candy, and soda. As long as someone is paying the $9.95 for the ticket, AMC will make money. On the other hand, I doubt that $9.95/month is sustainable for long even with deep pocketed investors.