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MoviePass made huge waves last year when it changed its pricing structure to the incredibly alluring $9.95 a month. The service has been trying to disrupt the traditional theatergoing model by having consumers pay for a subscription where they get to see a certain number of movies per month versus buying tickets for each film individually. This is the kind of model that helped Netflix fell the once mighty Blockbuster Video. Naturally, as is the case with any new buzzy product, there are bound to be imitators. Right now, the two other big names vying to be the go to theater subscription service are Cinemark Movie Club and Sinemia. So let's take a look and see how these three services break down.
Cinemark Movie Club is a subscription service for, you guessed it, Cinemark Theaters. For $8.99 a month, Cinemark Movie Club gets you one credit each month which is good for one adult 2D ticket. Premium format and 3D upcharges still apply, so anyone wanting a more immersive experience for certain films will have to pay extra. If you don't use your credit one month, that credit rolls over so you don't lose it. That's a nice touch if you aren't interested in any films in the doldrums of January; you don't lose what you paid for. The service also waives any online purchase fees and additional tickets for a friend or significant other are only $8.99. When May rolls around and you need to see both Avengers: Infinity War and Solo: A Star Wars Story, you can buy an additional two tickets per transaction for $8.99 each once your monthly credits are used. The service also gets you and a friend 20% off concessions, which should bring them down to just under the cost of a fancy steak dinner. Like most subscription services these days, Cinemark Movie Club has no contract, so you can cancel anytime.
Sinemia is a slightly different service that offers two different tiers, as well as a two-person option. Sinemia has no blackouts or extra fees, and can be used at most major theaters in the U.S. The membership also differentiates itself by including 3D, IMAX, DBOX, etc. When you sign up, Sinemia sends you a debit card that can be used to buy tickets online or in the theater. The Moviegoer plans get you three movie tickets per month and the Entertainment plans get you two tickets per month. Right now, the individual Moviegoer plan is $14.99 a month and the individual Entertainment plan is $9.99 a month. Sinemia for two costs $28.99 for Moviegoer and $18.99 for Entertainment. There is savings available on all the plans right now if you commit to an annual plan. The nice thing about Sinemia for two is that there is one membership owner who can use the plan to take a different guest each time.
Now on to MoviePass, the biggest kid on the playground. Like Sinemia, MoviePass sends you a debit card to purchase your tickets. The plan is $9.95 a month and is good for seeing one movie per day, so theoretically you could see a movie every day in a month. The service is accepted at most theaters, but some of them aren't too happy about it. There are no blackout dates and the service is good for 2D showings only. There is also no option for couples with MoviePass or any option to see premium format showings.
While ostensibly these services are all subscription plans for theatergoers, they are different enough to each cater to a different crowd. If you live near a Cinemark theater and don't see yourself ever really seeing more than one movie a month, Cinemark Movie Club, with its low price, discounts and rollover credits, is a solid choice. MoviePass is great if you just want to see as many movies as possible for a low rate and don't really care about premium format or going with anyone. Sinemia strikes a decent balance between the two. If you want the most pristine presentations or you will always have someone with you, Sinemia is worth considering. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and like any market disruption, there will probably be more contenders popping up before things settle out.
No matter if you have one of these new-fangled subscription services or if you just buy tickets the old-fashioned way, there are plenty of exciting reasons to visit the theater this year. Check out our 2018 premiere guide and plan accordingly.