At AMC Theatres, the typical cost for a movie is $15 for a ticket–$20 if you want popcorn and a drink. Despite marketing pushes from AMC that include dine-in food and reclined seats, promising a premiere movie experience, prices have remained roughly the same. That’s where MoviePass comes in, a movie-theatre ticket service that boasts over 1.5 million users. For $7.95 a month (a limited-edition price drop from $9.95 as of Feb. 10), MoviePass customers can see one movie in theatres per day.
Working with the saying “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” AMC reported last fall that MoviePass’ low prices were unsustainable, and as of two weeks ago, MoviePass has recently removed the use of its services at 10 major AMC Theatres around the country.
By limiting its use, Moviepass has essentially driven their customers away from AMC and into the seats of competing theatres. The removal is a response from MoviePass after AMC refused to share a $3 cut from MoviePass ticket profits, as well as 25% of concession costs.
MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe and Ted Farnesworth, CEO of MoviePass’s partner Helios and Matheson Analytics, released statements for the press.
“We already know in past testing that MoviePass subscribers are not theater-loyal; they’re happy to drive by a theater that may be closer to a theater that will accept MoviePass –because of the MoviePass value,” said Farnesworth in the statement.
AMC did not respond when asked to comment but has been responsive to customer complaints on Twitter.
MoviePass is blocking the use of their service at some AMC locations. AMC has not restricted MoviePass acceptance at our theatres, nor have we heard from MoviePass about this. MoviePass customers should contact MoviePass for clarification. -Elizabeth
— AMC Guest Services (@AMCHelps) February 2, 2018
“AMC has not been interested in collaborating with MoviePass – a move that is not in the interest of our subscribers and AMC theater-goers,” said Farnsworth.
According to Farnsworth, the 10 major theatres accounts for less than 2% of AMC as a whole. MoviePass does not expect the pull to slow the company down. During the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, the company launched their subsidiary, MoviePass Ventures, which plans to co-acquire films.
“Given the successes we have demonstrated for our distributor partners in ensuring strong box office in the theatrical window, it’s only natural for us to double down and want to play alongside them – and share in the upside,” said Lowe in the press release.
As for now, current MoviePass customers should check the MoviePass app before they plan on attending a movie at an AMC Theatre in case there are any future changes.