AMC Theatres launches subscription movie service to rival MoviePass

AMC Theatres on Wednesday said it would launch a subscription service that will allow customers to watch up to three movies per week for a monthly fee, challenging a rival service offered by MoviePass.

Dubbed the “AMC Stubs A-List,” the subscription service will cost $19.95 per month and kick off on June 26. Subscribers can view films at any AMC location at any time and will also gain access to other benefits, such as free refills on large popcorn orders and faster concession stand service.

“We believe that our current and future loyal guests will be interested in this type of program, as AMC Stubs A-List rewards guests with something that no one else offers: the very best of AMC, including IMAX, Dolby Cinema and RealD 3D up to three times per week, for one simple, sustainable price,” AMC CEO Adam Aron said in a statement.

AMC’s new service is about twice as expensive as MoviePass’ offering, which charges customers $9.95 per month for daily trips to the movies, though subscribers can’t view the same movie more than once or share their accounts with others. MoviePass says it has more than 3 million paid subscribers and projects a user base of 5 million subscribers by 2019. However, the company disclosed in May that it was losing more than $21 million per month.

AMC Theatres shares rose nearly 2.5% on the announcement. Shares of Helios and Matheson Analytics, the parent company of MoviePass, plunged more than 29%.

Aron has been an outspoken critic of the MoviePass model, repeatedly decrying its low price point as unsustainable over the long term.

An AMC representative told The Verge that the company’s new service was not intended as a direct challenge to MoviePass.

“We understand the comparison, but we’re focused on our own program and on delivering the very best, most reliable movie-going value option in the entertainment industry, which is what we believe AMC Stubs A-List provides to our guests,” the representative said. “It’s simple, seamless, and a great way to go to the movies.”