AMC Theatres has been an ardent critic of MoviePass ever since the subscription service dropped its monthly price to the wallet-friendly cost of $9.99. While unable to ban MoviePass from its theaters, the largest theater chain in the country has recently taken a 'if you can't beat em, join em' approach by offering up its own subscription program. Now with MoviePass's woes many and mounting, AMC Theatre's subscription service is seeing its star rise. The AMC Stubs A-List frequent moviegoer program has already enrolled 175,000 members.
The AMC Stubs A-List program has only existed for around five weeks, but already racking up 175,000 members is impressive and, as reported by Deadline, well ahead of the company's expectations. When the service launched, AMC expected to reach 500,000 subscribers by June of next year and 1 million subscribers in 2020, two years after launching. In recognition of this growth, AMC's CEO, in a not so subtle dig at the beleaguered MoviePass, mentioned the profitability and sustainability of the AMC Stubs A-List program. And given MoviePass's recent problems and rapid changes in its service, it is likely that AMC's service has benefited as some MoviePass customers have become frustrated and decided to try out the competitor.
In order to beat MoviePass at its own game, AMC's Stubs A-List program offers both more and less than MoviePass, but at a higher price point. For $19.95 a month, A-List lets you see three movies a week, including in premium formats like IMAX and 3D. You can also see more than one movie a day, see the same movie twice and pre-order tickets in advance. There is no blackout on blockbusters and you also get a discount on concessions. You cannot see quite as many total movies as with MoviePass and you are limited to AMC theaters, which means you don't have the same flexibility as with MoviePass.
The rapid growth of AMC's service shows a couple of things. One is that with other competitors in the marketplace, frustrated MoviePass subscribers have options, and it looks like some of them may be taking advantage of that. With MoviePass blacking out blockbusters, it is quickly becoming IndiePass, whereas the A-List program gives subscribers blockbuster access, albeit at a higher price. The other thing that AMC's entry into this subscription model and its early success shows is that this is the future of moviegoing. People want to go to the movies more often and will do so when a lower price is available. We are all so accustomed to the subscription model with our music and TV that we now expect it with all of our entertainment. While MoviePass's future remains to be seen, although it is as defiant as ever, its impact on the industry will be lasting.
For all of the movies that you can see in 2018 no matter how you pay for the ticket, check out our premiere guide.