AMC Is Not At All Pleased With the Recent MoviePass Price Slash
Just yesterday, ScreenCrush’s trusty Nighttime News Team reported on a major development on the exhibition side of the film biz, that bulk ticketing service MoviePass had announced a plan to slash their monthly price for their all-you-can-watch-in-a-movie-theater service to $9.99. The business (recently under new corporate parentage) made moviegoers an offer they couldn’t refuse: for viewers in rural and suburban area, the plan pays for itself by the second movie you see in a month, and for those suffering from inner-city fifteen-dollar prices, it pays for itself the second you use it. But not everybody’s jumping for joy at the prospect of a night at the movies getting a little cheaper. Namely? The people who make money from movie theaters.
Deadline now reports that cineplex mega-chain AMC is mounting a vocal pushback against MoviePass, and has begun looking into legal action that would block the service from being eligible at AMC locations. The quotes from the company’s press release warn potential customers that that which seems too good to be true often is:
From what we can tell, by definition and absent some other form of other compensation, MoviePass will be losing money on every subscriber seeing two movies or more in a month... it is not yet known how to turn lead into gold. AMC believes that holding out to consumers that first run movies can be watched in theatres at great quantities for a monthly price of $9.95 isn’t doing moviegoers any favors.
... [MoviePass’ plan] is not one AMC can embrace. We are actively working now to determine whether it may be feasible to opt out and not participate in this shaky and unsustainable program.
On the one hand, AMC’s got a vested interest in people not signing up for MoviePass; we wouldn’t exactly trust Exxon to warn us about Tesla having an unsustainable business model for the manufacture and sale of electric cars. On the other hand, they’re not wrong. It seems impossible that MoviePass could make money off of this deal, and it’s likely that they will indeed let their customers get nice and dependent before incrementally hiking the price back up. It wasn’t so long ago that a MoviePass subscription was $50 per month. Could getting back there be the eventual endgame?