Here’s some actually good news about a theater subscription service! AMC’s rival to MoviePass (though the idea of MoviePass rivaling anything at this point is a bit absurd), known as Stubs A-List, has been chugging along at a steady clip since June. It’s now up to 700,000 subscribers, adding 100,000 new customers since January alone. That’s pretty cool, as it seems like a decent deal. At the very least, you shouldn’t have to worry that you won’t be able to see the movie you wanted to see on the time you wanted to see it, because the company that you subscribe to just ran out of money and the service went dark. That’s a nice bonus.
It seems that, according to a statement made by AMC CEO and president Adam Aaron, much of the money made through Stubs A-List may be more due to subscribers bringing friends and family for movies they’ve already seen once and want to see again than the subscription itself, though.
“Members are seeing many more movies than they did before A-List was created, are seeing movies more than once and they’re bringing their friends and family members along, who are paying for their tickets at full price,” he said.
This is cool and all for AMC, since they’re making money or whatever, but it does speak to my biggest issue with these theater subscription services. They need to start including couples and family plans that allow multiple people to see the same movie for one price. An average family might enjoy going to a movie once or twice a month, and paying a flat thirty bucks to get themselves and their kids tickets would likely be an attractive option. Kids are suckers for snacks, anyhow, so you know they’ll be hitting up the concessions for popcorn priced like it’s gold plated.
I don’t enjoy going to the theaters alone and have danced around the idea of getting a Stubs A-List subscription, but I know I would have to buy two in order to make much use of it. From the statement it sounds like carting people to the movies who might not have subscriptions and forcing them to fork up full-price for a ticket might be a feature rather than an oversight. That’s kind of crappy, as I’m sure there’s a way to find viable services for whatever ways people like to see movies.
There’s still a ton of room to grow, and unlike the current streaming service boom in which every day there’s a new pretender to the throne these theater subscriptions are yet to explode. I think the deals will get better and more competitive from here on out–maybe never as good as that early MoviePass gold rush, but worthwhile nonetheless. It’s best to keep your eyes ahead and not look back at those beautiful freewheeling days. Also, remember that MoviePass helped produce Gotti, perhaps the most unforgivable of their sins, and we’re all a bit responsible for that.