How AMC’s Version of MoviePass Stacks Up Against Its Competitor

June 20, 2018, 5:23 PM UTC

AMC Theatres, an ardent critic of ticketing service MoviePass, will roll out a ticketing service of its own next week in a move that could create troubling competition for the latter.

AMC said on Wednesday that its new service — dubbed “Stubs-A-List” — will launch on June 26 with a monthly subscription that gives consumers access to a set number of movie tickets. But how does it stack up against MoviePass, the company that controversially popularized a subscription model for tickets — much to the delight of customers, but not its investors?

MoviePass has AMC beat price-wise, with the former offering three movie tickets a month for $7.95 or one movie a day for $9.95. AMC on the other hand has just one price point at $19.95, which includes three movies per week, or 12 a month. Those three movies a week, though, can be used all in the same day if desired, unlike MoviePass, which caps showings at one a day.

And how those tickets are used could be an advantage for AMC in some respects. Stubs-A-List tickets can be exchanged for multiple cinema formats, such as IMAX and 3-D. MoviePass only permits 2-D movies, but its subscribers aren’t limited to AMC theaters. MoviePass users can attend pretty much any theater that accepts MasterCard.

There is one final perk of AMC’s program that MoviePass doesn’t offer — the ability to reserve tickets in advance. MoviePass subscribers are required to be within a certain distance of the theater they want to attend before booking tickets.

Either service is enticing, depending on your circumstances. Those who want to frequent independent cinemas or rival chains like Regal may want to stick with MoviePass. The service is also a terrific budget option for money-conscious moviegoers. But for those who have access to AMC locations and want greater flexibility with booking options, Stubs-A-List deserves a serious look.

Consumers and investors alike will be monitoring how this newly-established rivalry shakes out. MoviePass is facing serious questions over its sustainability with the company recently spending $21.7 million over a monthly period and having just $15.5 million in cash, in addition to $27.9 million on deposit, available in the bank. MoviePass maintains the company will be profitable by next year. The question is whether MoviePass accounted for growing competition when it made that claim.