AMC Theatres is preparing to raise the monthly price of its fast-growing Stubs A-List movie subscription service in 15 of the 50 U.S. states. Whether movie studios or theater chains like it or not, it looks like the future of moviegoing in the U.S. is via subscription services, in which a subscriber pays one flat rate and then gets to see a predetermined number of films per month at no additional cost. This type of theatrical movie subscription isn't new to many countries elsewhere in the world, but until MoviePass took off last year (then eventually crashed and burned), most Americans had never been exposed to the concept.
It's become a common refrain from American consumers in recent years that the price of movie tickets is too high. At this point, a single evening (when most people go to the movies) ticket in just about every part of the U.S. will cost the buyer at least $10, with many markets seeing prices of $15 or more for a normal 2D showing. If one wishes to see a film in 3D, IMAX, Dolby Cinema, or another "premium format," the prices get even more concerning. Thus, when MoviePass dropped its monthly price to a rock bottom $9.95 last summer, millions of people quickly signed on to be able to see movies without taking such a big financial hit.
Related: A Timeline Of The MoviePass Meltdown
MoviePass' business model was of course highly flawed, and the service has since become a shell of its former self. However, AMC Theatres took notice of MoviePass, and this summer rolled out their own subscription movie service called Stubs A-List, an addition to their existing customer loyalty program. The setup was refreshingly simple: for $19.95 per month, subscribers could see up to three movies per week, including in premium formats. Unfortunately - as revealed in a statement emailed out to Stubs A-List customers - that price will soon go up. Starting on January 9, the price for customers residing in
While many Stubs A-List users are sure to find that price increase bothersome, there's one positive aspect that deserves mention. The email sent out by AMC also makes clear that existing subscribers (and those who sign up before the price increase takes effect) will maintain the current $19.95 price for the first 12 months of their membership, regardless of where they live. For example, someone who lives in New York and signed up today would keep paying $19.95 until November 5, 2019, regardless of the higher price for new subscribers in that state. So, with the A-List service having launched on June 26, that means no current subscribers will have to worry about paying more money until June 26, 2019, at the earliest.
Also revealed in AMC's email is that the A-List service has already attracted more than 500,000 subscribers in just over four months, far ahead of AMC Theatres' initial stated projection for signups. As the statement says, A-List is here to stay. The question now becomes, who will be the next theater chain (or MoviePass-esque enterprising company) to throw their hat into the ring, and get a piece of the movie subscription pie.
Source: AMC Theatres