AMC Theatres has announced a forthcoming subscription service that will allow moviegoers to see up to three movies per week for the monthly price of $19.95.
The service, which begins Tuesday as an extension of AMC’s existing Stubs rewards program, is clearly intended to rival MoviePass, which charges $9.95 per month and allows subscribers to see one film a day. The two companies have had a publicly contentious relationship — AMC threatened legal action against MoviePass last August after the subscription service drastically changed its pricing model, and MoviePass temporarily pulled out of a handful of AMC’s busiest multiplexes earlier this year.
Last week, MoviePass reported that it had exceeded 3 million subscribers, and expects to hit 5 million by the end of this year. So how will AMC’s service, dubbed AMC Stubs A-List, compare? For the record, here’s what MoviePass thinks of the deal:
With that out of the way, here’s everything you need to know about AMC’s new service:
You can see three movies per week.
Subscribers can see up to three films per week, with each week beginning on Friday. That’s less than MoviePass’s one movie per day. But unlike with MoviePass, you can see them in any format (so 3-D and Imax movies are included). You could also see all three films in the same day, which isn’t an option with MoviePass since you’re limited to one movie a day.
Like MoviePass, membership is on an individual basis, so you can’t use your A-List benefits to reserve tickets for other people. Unlike MoviePass, A-List allows subscribers to view the same film more than once.
You can reserve tickets in advance.
This is a biggie. MoviePass subscribers are limited to same-day tickets, which they usually have to buy in theaters (though there are some limited online ticketing options). AMC’s program allows you to reserve movie tickets online and in advance — and pick your seats, if that feature is available at your chosen theater — but you can have only three reservations at a given time.
If you miss a movie you reserved, or forgo a reservation, you’ll forfeit it: Reservations don’t carry over into other weeks.
You do not get a physical card.
Unlike MoviePass subscribers, you won’t receive a physical card. Instead, you’ll use a virtual card through the AMC website or reserve tickets through AMC’s app. This will presumably save A-List subscribers from many of the technical issues reported by MoviePass subscribers, such as a long waits for the cards.
You can see films only at AMC theaters.
This is pretty obvious, but worth noting. AMC is the world’s biggest theater chain, while MoviePass says it’s available at 91 percent of theaters nationwide.
But since the A-List program is an option within AMC’s existing loyalty program — which includes a free and “premiere” $15-a-year version — you’ll be eligible for rewards such as discounted tickets and upgraded concessions. Your membership fee will earn you reward points each month.