Yesterday, MoviePass announced something that could revolutionize the movie industry. Their subscription service, where you can go to one 2D movie a day, every day, was reduced to just $9.95 a month. This was possible thanks in part to a funding deal MoviePass made with Helios and Matheson Analytics, who bought a majority stake in the company. Yes, they will be taking on a massive loss, covering tickets, but their subscriber numbers increased so much and so quickly, it shut down their site and app yesterday. Now, more people are going to go to the movies. At the same price as Netflix and Hulu, it’s a no-brainer. For film lovers, this is like God just smiled upon cinema.
But there’s one theater chain who’s not happy with the development. AMC theaters is exploring options on how to sue MoviePass so that they can get out of the program. “While AMC is not opposed to subscription programs generally, the one envisioned by MoviePass is not one AMC can embrace,” the company’s statement reads. “We are actively working now to determine whether it may be feasible to opt out and not participate in this shaky and unsustainable program.”
Here’s the odd part—AMC has nothing to lose. Moviepass covers the full cost of the ticket, and are willing to accept losing a lot of money while they gather data on how users use their services. They have long term plans to propose a deal with theaters to get a cut of their profits, but only if they can show that their service has substantially increased ticket and concession sales. In the meantime, MoviePass is footing the entire bill. Is it shaky? Absolutely. Is it going to hurt AMC? No.
AMC should embrace this development. The changes to their Stubs program were terrible. Many of their theaters desperately need new management. And above all, they need people to go to more movies. Butts-in-seats, as they say. And if patrons are spending next to nothing on tickets, they’ll be more likely to try some of their awesome new menu items, like the Buffalo Chicken flatbread pizza and the chicken and waffle sandwich. For a movie theater, these new items are reasonably priced (again, for a movie theater). The also have those magic coca-cola machines that now has diet Barq’s cream soda, a perfect match for that Buffalo Chicken flatbread.
Many AMC’s also have the awesome MacGuffin’s bar. When you don’t have to pay 13 bucks for a ticket, paying ten bucks for a Sangria or 6 bucks for a beer is a treat.
MoviePass’s $10 subscriptions and AMC’s concession could be the best match for movie junkies. So come on AMC, embrace the change, and get that Chicken and Waffle sandwich ready—Logan Lucky opens this weekend and we’ll need lunch.