Following the surprising news on Tuesday that MoviePass will begin a $US9.95-a-month subscription service where members can see one movie a day in US theatres, AMC Theatres announced it is looking into if it can block the service.
The largest theatre chain in the world issued a statement late Tuesday stating that it is consulting with its attorneys on if it can stop accepting MoviePass.
“AMC believes that holding out to consumers that first run movies can be watched in theatres at great quantities for a monthly price of $US9.95 isn’t doing moviegoers any favours,” the statement reads. “In AMC’s view, that price level is unsustainable and only sets up consumers for ultimate disappointment down the road if or when the product can no longer be fulfilled.”
That is the biggest question many have in the exhibition world: How will MoviePass be financially sustainable? If you do the maths, with the average US movie ticket at $US8.89, according to BoxOfficeMojo, the company will be losing money if a subscriber sees at the very least two movies a month.
One source told Business Insider it’s assumed the company will be relying on advertisement revenue, but MoviePass would have to do huge levels of traffic to really make any money. The service had around 20,000 subscribers in December and hopes to add 100,000 more with the new plan.
“MoviePass was founded to make it easier for passionate moviegoers and casual fans to see films the way they’re meant to be seen — in the theatre,” MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe said in a statement. “Our vision has always been to make the moviegoing experience more affordable and enjoyable for our subscribers. We are changing the way consumers think about going to the movies by making it possible to experience a broader array of films — from the latest summer blockbuster to a critically acclaimed documentary — through a subscription model.”
MoviePass announced Tuesday that it had sold a majority stake to the big-data firm Helios and Matheson Analytics to promote a nationwide rollout of its $US9.95 a month plan.
Business Insider contacted the other major US theatres chains, Regal and Cinemark, to see if either company is planning to attempt to block MoviePass like AMC, however, neither immediately responded for comment.
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