Several years ago, MoviePass came on the scene with the terrific idea to sell consumers a monthly subscription that would offer unlimited theatrical screenings for a flat fee. The only problem with their plan is that movie theaters didn’t want to participate. AMC Theaters in particular issued a statement saying that MoviePass did “not integrate well into our programs and could create significant guest experience issues.” But times have changed, and young people aren’t showing up at theaters like they used to. The Nielsen Co. reporting [via The Kansas City Star] that total attendance dropped 5 percent this year.
Now AMC Theaters is singing a different tune and seeing if MoviePass is the way to win back Millennials. Hit the jump for more.
The Kansas City Star reports that in January, “AMC theaters in Boston and Denver will begin working in concert with MoviePass to offer monthly subscription packages for $45 and $35. More cities will be added.” The speed of the rollout will be based on the success at the initial locations. This Star adds “The pilot partnership with AMC will allow MoviePass members an option, for $45 a month, to see films in any format, including Imax and 3-D.”
Although it’s been a bumpy ride for MoviePass ever since their original plan was stymied back in 2011, I’m glad that the service is still alive and moving forward. Theaters don’t even make their money from movie tickets. The bulk of their profits come from concessions, and if you want to sell people junk food, you first have to get them in the door. Additionally, when you have someone plunk down $45 for a subscription, they’re going to be inclined to not only use it four times (on average the cost of four screenings), but to use it more times to make the card worthwhile.
Working with MoviePass is the kind of change I want to see movie theaters making. It encourages people to get out to the theaters and maybe even try films they wouldn’t have thought about seeing before. It’s a much smarter move than encouraging people to talk and text during the picture.