AMC's Stubs A-List, the theater chain's subscription service meant to compete with MoviePass, is exceeding expectations in its first five weeks. As most cinephiles are aware, MoviePass seems to be on its last legs following a rather difficult week. After running out of money, the company made the controversial choice to block some of the summer's final major releases. While that ensures MoviePass doesn't have to pay full ticket prices for the likes of Mission: Impossible - Fallout and Christopher Robin, the decision has angered many customers, who are upset they can't use the service to see the films they want.
Ever since MoviePass lowered its monthly price to $9.95, there have been a number of detractors criticizing the business model. Chief among them was AMC, who spent some time perfecting their own subscription service for moviegoers. The Stubs A-List launched at the end of June, and the first month has gone exceptionally well.
According to Variety, more than 175,000 users are now members of the A-List. This development puts AMC ahead of its projections. They believed there would be 500,000 subscribers by June 2019 and 1 million in 2020.
The Stubs A-List is a little more expensive than MoviePass (it's $19.95 per month) and limits customers to seeing three movies per week (rather than one a day). However, there are a number of perks that make it appealing for people looking to switch. Users can reserve their tickets online in advance, which makes it easier to guarantee seats for the biggest releases. Stubs A-List also allows people to book premium format (IMAX and 3D) tickets and see the same film more than once in theaters. As an added bonus, subscribers are also eligible for concession discounts. Most important of all, AMC doesn't appear to be in any danger of going under financially and seems like a more stable option. For all that, a strong case can be made it's worth the additional $10 per month.
Of course, AMC is just one of multiple theater chains across the United States, so it'll be interesting to see if their success influences their rivals to fast-track services of their own. There's obviously a great deal of interest in ticket subscription plans, and they can be beneficial for the film industry. Since there's no cost associated with the ticket, more people are likely to see smaller offerings (like the Oscar contenders) on the big screen. With MoviePass seemingly on the way out, most of its 3 million users will likely be looking for another option. AMC isn't everywhere, so hopefully other companies take note.