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MoviePass is still experimenting with how to make its business model work. In addition to figuring out how much the service can charge per month without losing money, MoviePass and its parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics are working on alternative revenue streams. One of those streams involves acquiring movies and putting them out into the world, and this weekend saw MoviePass' first attempt hit theaters. The movie American Animals was acquired by MoviePass along with The Orchard, and it did big in-theater numbers this weekend, raking in $35,000 per theater it was released in.
Smaller indie movies are never going to be able to compete with big box office tentpoles, and often those movies even hit way fewer theaters instead of getting a huge wide release. In the case of American Animals, the flick was only recently into four theaters over the weekend. There, it made $140, 629 in theaters, or roughly $35,000 per theater. That's not the highest per theater opening for an indie flick this year. So far, Wes Anderson's Isle of Dogs has already done better, pulling in around $60,000 per theater during its opening foray into theaters. A few other movies have done higher per theater numbers, as well. Still, the numbers are a win for American Animals.
American Animals won't release wide for a few more weeks, as reports indicate it will hit 600 theaters domestically on June 22. So far, the heist movie, which stars Evan Peters, Ann Dowd and others, has scored well on Rotten Tomatoes, running at 84% at the time of this writing. We'll keep you updated as more audiences are able to see the movie.
This movie is an interesting one, as both The Orchard and MoviePass put in money to nab the rights to American Animals, which cost $3 million to acquire. MoviePass has the platform to theoretically pump up the movie in front of engaged movegoers and had plans to do so. The movie has featured heavily on the app, and MoviePass even offered perks to users who saw the movie in theaters over the weekend, per Deadline. MoviePass has talked in recent months about offering other streams of revenue, and cross-promoting movies on its platform seems to be one of those ideas. Helios and Matheson Analytics also has the exclusive option to purchase Emmett Furla Oasis Films, which means the company is looking to make its own movie projects. It's an interesting strategy, to say the least.
In addition to outside streams of revenue, MoviePass has been making some changes to the actual pass in recent months, in the hopes that eventually the service will find the sweet spot between making a profit and keeping its customers happy. We'll let you know if any future changes are made, but if you like your MoviePass, consider checking out American Animals when it hits a theater near you.