Where others have failed, AMC has triumphed. The theater chain’s movie subscription service has not only increased in members, but has also turned a profit. How unthinkable! The service—$19.95 a month for 3 movies a week—has hit 785,000 members and the company estimates around $2.3 million in profit based on the current count.
While MoviePass claimed three million subscribers at one point in time, they’ve since seen a drastic drop—90% in the past year—and Sinemia just recently shut down their operations in the states. The two were quick to gain users by offering a low cost, but quickly fell out of grace with sudden blackouts and poor customer service. Meanwhile, AMC has taken the reigns.
AMC figured out what the MoviePass and Sinemia couldn’t, though it didn’t take a business degree to see that the low pricing of two failing services was unsustainable. While twenty bucks a month to potentially see twelve movies isn’t exactly a fiscally responsible model, the numbers have shown to be in favor of the theater. AMC projects users need to use the service between 2.5 to 3 times a month to turn a profit. The current average usage is 2.6 times per month, but there’s more. CEO Adam Aron explains that A-list members have also been bringing friends and buying food and drinks, leading to a profit of about $3 per subscriber.
And that’s where AMC has made a difference. MoviePass and Sinemia could not lock up a partnership with theaters. Their attempts to gain a discount on tickets or get a cut in concessions was stonewalled by theater owners. By keeping everything in-house, AMC receives the subscription fee, tagalong full-price friends, and any added money from their giant buckets of popcorn and jugs of soda.