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It was the summer of 2017 when MoviePass shook up the exhibition industry with its $10 a month unlimited moviegoing subscription plan, and after a tumultuous and fascinating two years that has seen such services rise and fall, a new player is entering the game. Regal Cinemas is going the MoviePass route, with a new subscription service of its own.
Deadline reports that Regal Cinemas' new unlimited movie ticket subscription service is set to launch in the U.S. at the end of July. Regal’s parent company, the London-based Cineworld, is still working out the finer details with the major movie studios. So there are still some unknowns about the service, but the basics have been set.
Taking a page out of MoviePass’ book, Regal Cinema’s new movie ticket subscription service is truly unlimited. There will be three pricing tiers, which work out to $18, $21 and $24 a month, respectively, and all offer unlimited tickets. The pricing tiers at the moment seem to dictate what theaters subscribers will have access to. Unlike AMC Theatres’ AMC Stubs A-List program, where plan prices vary by state, Regal’s pricing tiers are based on specific locations.
That means that subscribers with the highest-tier plan will have access to any of the chain’s theaters nationwide. Those with the lowest-priced tier will have access to about half of the Regal Theaters locations in the nation with the middle-tier presumably falling somewhere between the two.
The way this would work in practice is that say someone lives in the country and purchases the $18/month tier and then goes to the movies in the city to an out-of-network Regal which belongs to the higher tier. In that instance there may be a $2-$3 (not final) surcharge.
Although it has not been confirmed, there is also the possibility that subscribers to Regal Unlimited will have to purchase a whole year in advance for the unlimited ticket program. So those monthly prices add up to $216 for a year at the lowest-tier, $252 for the middle tier and $288 for the top tier.
There are other perks to the plan as well beyond the all-you-can-eat wonders of unlimited moviegoing. Regal Unlimited will also have 10% cash reductions on concessions for every tier of the plan, as opposed to vouchers you can use next time you come. One thing that is not clear at this time is whether premium format screenings like 3D, large format or IMAX will be included in Regal Unlimited plans as they are with AMC Stubs A-List.
This plan is said to be aimed at avid moviegoers who see more than two movies a month. And while unlimited plans have gotten companies like MoviePass and Sinemia in trouble in the past, this isn’t the company’s first rodeo. Regal Unlimited is based off of CineWorld’s Unlimited program in the United Kingdom, which has been running there for over a decade to great success. So Regal isn’t going in to this blind.
While third-party plans like MoviePass and Sinemia have struggled to find the right price for sustainability and consumer interest, exhibitor-specific services seem to be where the future lies, at least for the moment. AMC Stubs A-List now has over 860,000 subscribers and people seem to love it.
Based on the early details, Regal Unlimited seems like it could be a good option for those that don’t want to deal with the frequent changes to MoviePass and might want more than the 3 movies a week AMC’s plan offers. Also, for film fans without an AMC near them, Regal Unlimited might be a great option.
No matter how you see your movies, there is plenty to see this year. Check it all out in our 2019 Release Schedule.