Last year, a small company called MoviePass set the world on fire with an insane, and ultimately unsustainable, new subscription plan for going to the movie theater.
Since then, MoviePass has limped into the background to lick its wounds, while AMC’s similar service, A-List, has run away with many of MoviePass’ former customers.
These services have continued the successful rise of buffet-like subscriptions, such as Netflix, that offer the consumer a vast amount of content for a low-monthly price.
MoviePass caught people by surprise when they announced their new plan, which would allow users access to one theater screening per day at a baffling rate of $9.95 per month. This would work with most theaters in the country, on any day of the week, and at any time of the day.
Within one day, the service had gained over 50,000 new subscribers. In four days, that number had risen to over 150,000. Quickly, the service had amassed millions of subscribers, and MoviePass seemed to be the future of movie-going. But many felt this deal was too good to be true, and ultimately, that suspicion proved to be reality.
“Being able to see a movie in any format at a quality theater for a low monthly fee is the best value available.”
The company was losing an insurmountable amount of money with each ticket that one of its members would “purchase” through the app. The math simply did not add up, with most movie tickets costing upwards of $15.
MoviePass hoped to make up for this deficit by selling consumer data to theater chains and to movie studios, but the company proved to be an unpopular newcomer to the industry, having displayed an arrogant attitude in response to its sudden success.
One particular theater chain was vocally unimpressed by MoviePass, and that chain was AMC, the largest movie theater company in the country. This disdain went as far as the theater chain threatening to file a lawsuit against MoviePass, with no desire for people to be able to use the service at its theaters, for a fear that this would spoil movie-goers into never paying for a full-priced ticket again.
Ultimately, although the story of MoviePass’ instantaneous growth, and equally instantaneous deflation, is an incredibly fascinating story of disastrous ambitions, AMC actually took the core concept of the service and ran with it, launching its A-List service, priced at $19.99 and offering three movies every week, right as MoviePass’ stock value had fallen to about a dollar.
Those that dropped MoviePass and hopped aboard the A-List train immediately felt like royalty in comparison, thanks to a general ease-of-use, fast registration, the ability to reserve seats within the application, and clear communication from the company, all things that MoviePass had failed to deliver entirely.
“Anyone that sees more than two
movies a month will likely save money with either MoviePass or AMC A-List.”
“I’ve been an A-List member for six months now, and I use it at least once a week,” said one user who was interviewed for this article. “Being able to see a movie in any format at a quality theater for a low monthly fee is the best value available.”
AMC’s service may seem expensive in comparison to MoviePass’ plan; however, the infamous one-movie-per-day deal has since raised in price and decreased in value, with three tiers ranging from about $13 in Oklahoma to over $20 for the highest offering. All three options only offer three movies per month, versus A-List which offers three movies per week, with no additional fees for premium formats such as RealD 3D and IMAX.
All of this information is overwhelming, but it is highly recommended that fans of movies look into these services and see which one appeals to them personally. Anyone that sees more than two movies a month will likely save money with either MoviePass or AMC A-List.