As MoviePass flounders and runs out of cash, AMC’s competitive offering, AMC Stubs A-List, is scaling up quickly. The theater chain announced this morning the service is growing faster than anticipated, and has already signed up over 380,000 users in the three months since its late July launch.
The growth is notable also because much of it occurred during the traditional slow time for theaters — the back-to-school season in late August and September, when summer blockbusters come to an end, and families are tied up with other obligations.
Despite this, AMC says it added 120,000 A-List members during the last six weeks, and its members watched more than 363 different movie titles to date.
In addition, AMC is projecting that it will see increased U.S. attendance for the first time since 2015, excluding the bump it got by acquiring Carmike Cinemas.
Its movie subscription service, which launched July 26, offers theater goers the ability to watch up to three movies per week in any of AMC’s U.S. locations for $19.95 per month, plus tax. This includes specialty theaters, like IMAX, RealD 3D and others, and it works with AMC’s tickets reservations system both online and in its mobile app.
AMC also took a swing at MoviePass today by reminding potential customers that its service offers a 12-month protection guarantee against changes to the program that could impact its pricing or benefits. That’s remarkably different from MoviePass, which continues to fiddle with pricing plans and is constantly limiting what the service includes.
For example, MoviePass recently began limiting access to specific films and showtimes, as well as the number of visits it supports. It also said it would raise pricing in July to $15 per month, up from $9.99, as its cash flow concerns became a critical issue — especially in the face of new threats like AMC’s service and Sinemia. But it later backtracked on those plans, causing a lot of subscriber confusion.
AMC’s service is effectively promising that it won’t screw around with pricing or plans for at least a year, so you know what you’re getting. That clearly appeals to some portion of the market, given the number of sign-ups A-List has now seen in a short time.
AMC has been a thorn in MoviePass’s side for some time, having previously threatened legal action, which it said devalued the movie-going experience. It also went on record to state that it had “absolutely no intention” of sharing any of its admissions or concessions revenues with MoviePass. Eventually, MoviePass pulled out of some AMC theaters.
“With 380,000 members enrolled in just three months, AMC Stubs A-List is demonstrating that it encourages moviegoers of all ages, locations and backgrounds to come to movie theatres more often, and they’re bringing family and friends along with them,” said Adam Aron, AMC CEO and president, in a statement today about the milestone news. “The early success of this program is evident as AMC is projecting an attendance increase at our U.S. theatres for the first time in three years. This is very good for AMC, and very good for our guests and movie studio partners,” he added.