Ever since MoviePass dropped its price, AMC Theaters has been less than receptive to the subscription movie ticket service. Now, it appears the relationship between the two has taken another turn. Recently, MoviePass subscribers have discovered that the MoviePass app no longer works with some of AMC's largest locations, including the Universal CityWalk in L.A. and the Empire 25 in New York City. However, while this would seem to be exactly what AMC had been working toward, the decision to remove the theaters appears to have been done by MoviePass.
It appears to only be a handful of AMC Theaters in major markets, L.A., New York, Boston, etc, that are impacted. Movie Pass is still accepted in other places including other theaters in those markets. It's not entirely clear why these theaters are being singled out. Deadline points out that there are other theaters, like the ArcLight Cinemas in Southern CA, that MoviePass doesn't cover simply because the ticket price is so high. .
MoviePass responded to complaining users via Twitter confirming that it is no longer working with some theaters but that the company "hope to partner with them again." AMC Theater responded to others by claiming it had no communication with MoviePass on this at all and had nothing to do with the decision to remove theaters from the app.
MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe and Helios and Matheson (MoviePass's parent company) CEO Ted Farnsworth sent CinemaBlend a statement in which they make it clear that the removal of the 10 theaters is being done because of the lack of cooperation that MoviePass is getting from AMC. MoviePass believes that more people are going to theaters because of the service and that theaters should be willing to work with the company for that reason. According to Farnsworth...
Other theater companies have seen this attendance resurgence and have approached MoviePass to collaborate. Since the get-go, AMC has not been interested in collaborating with MoviePass - a move that is not in the interest of our subscribers and AMC theater-goers.
Ted Farnsworth goes on to state that MoviePass subscribers are generally not loyal to theater chains, so the expectation is that users will just go someplace to see a movie, leaving AMC out of both ticket and concession revenue. AMC is the largest theater chain in the nation which gives it a lot of leverage in the industry, but as MoviePass sees its subscriber base increases, it's clear these two companies aren't done with each other yet.
In the end, as long as the theater you're willing to go to is showing the movie you want to see, and that theater works with MoviePass, it won't matter if other theaters don't work. Still, it's clear that the new MoviePass business model is going to be going through a lot of changes before it figures out its best strategy, and that might not work for everybody.