Movie theater subscriptions - You stream to the movies

Pay $35 to $45 a month (price depending on region) and you can watch a movie a day at an AMC theater.

AMC Theaters, the No. 2 chain in North America behind Regal Entertainment, has agreed to a pilot partnership with MoviePass, a three-year-old company focused on letting people attend a movie a day for one monthly fee.
“It frankly wouldn’t be smart to ignore the success of subscription in other areas of media,” said Christina Sternberg, senior vice president for corporate strategy at AMC.

MoviePass had tried this on their own, but their passes were denied at all the major locations. They needed the cooperation of at least one of the big theater chains.

I want to be excited by this idea, but…I would be hard pressed to find a movie I wanted to see every week, much less every day. And paying matinee prices around here for the weeks I want to see stuff would be cheaper than the proposed subscription price. It makes more sense in a market where tickets are like $15, I suppose.

Even when I was single, one or two movies a month would be all I could handle.

I could get my money’s worth in December and January, but there are no AMC theaters in my town.

They’ve only just started doing that? Cineworld, one of the two big chains here in the UK, has been doing season tickets for years. It’s currently £20 a month for a pass which includes London West End cinemas. Given that tickets cost upwards of a tenner in London, it’s a pretty good deal if you go regularly. You get a small discount on food and drink as well.

I think the biggest reason I go to movies is the popcorn. There’s just something about the heart clogging butter and salt mixture they use that makes me all tingly inside…although that might be a stroke, not sure.

But I’d also be hard pressed to find a movie a month I want to see in a theater, let alone enough films to justify this subscription service. I’m sure it’s a good deal for someone though.

You can make your own heart-clogging popcorn, you know. I’ve more or less stopped going to the cinema except for spectacle movies, so I can’t really justify it. I already subscribe to two different movie streaming/rental services.

It’s just not the same though. Also, I have this weird ritual in which I can’t take a bite of popcorn until the first line of dialogue is spoken in the film. It drives my friends crazy. But it doesn’t feel the same when I do it in my living room. Go figure.

It’s just not the same though.

You,re right. It’s better. I love my popcorn machine.

I wonder how they reconcile the movie passes with the “take” for each movie. Is a movie pass use considered a full ticket purchase as far as the distributors are concerned? If I see The Interview 10 times in a month, is that $110 to Sony or just a percentage of my $35 “pass” payment?

(Maybe it’s in the article… spose I should read that first)

I think the concession is still the big money earner for theaters. I’m guessing that box office is a secondary concern for theater owners.

The #1 goal of movie theater owners is to get more people in the popcorn line. While the theaters split the ticket revenue with Hollywood, what they generate off ticket sales basically covers their overhead (rent/lease, taxes, salaries, etc). The profit comes off those tubs of popcorn and $8 cup of sugar water.

And if you’ve already spent the ticket money in a monthly subscription, you’ll be more inclined to buy concession items because the subscription cost is ‘hidden’. Forking out $12 for a ticket and then $12 for a popcorn feels more painful than just stopping in and dropping $12 on the popcorn alone.

Just not enough movies worth seeing every month to make it pay off for the consumer.

Back in the day when I want to the movies multiple times a month (once upon a time I lived within walking distance of three movie theaters) I would have been all over this. This days with a 50 inch screen at home, I’m way less tempted.

I might go for a yearly pass, for let’s say $100 per person, that would allow me to come and go as I please. Maybe include incentives, like if I see more movies I get less in the way of snacks. If I watch fewer movies I earn free snacks or at least some kind of discount on snacks. I have absolutely no interest in keeping to a ridiculous(for me) one movie a day schedule. The exception would be if the theater had some kind of digital connection where I could choose from any movie I wanted. I walk it, use my phone app to select a movie, and it plays. Maybe do a social networking thing where all five of us in the theater(come on, not many would go for this) have to agree on the movie first before we even show up.

Does that include IMAX? 2 IMAX movies would cover this.

Hey you need this. This thing makes the best popcorn I have ever tasted. I use coconut oil, bobs red mill white popcorn and a salt called flavacol. Its so fucking good.

As a frequent theater goer, I would do this in a heartbeat when it reaches Los Angeles!

The company offering the subscription pays the full price to the theater every time you go to a movie. They’re counting on the arithmetic of light users paying for more frequent users.

It does. One of the issues with earlier subscription mopdels was that they were only good for standard format.


It does at a higher rate.

And the economics clearly don’t make sense. Oh, I’m sure for a major film-goer like Tom it would be a great deal, but if they’re covering people like Tom off other users underusing their subscription, those other people are getting screwed. (I mean, they’re doing it to themselves, but…)

It’s basically the same concept with Amazon Prime. For every bastard who gets free two-day shipping on a lawn mower, there has to be millions of other people who aren’t getting lawn mowers.