AMC takes aim at MoviePass with new subscription service

With MoviePass circling the drain thanks to an untenable business strategy (which led to steep stock drops for parent company Helios & Matheson), AMC has announced a new program which allows users to see three movies each week for a monthly fee of $19.95.

The program, called AMC Stubs A-List, is an extension of AMC’s existing loyalty program, AMC Stubs Premiere. It officially kicks off on June 26. In addition to ticketing discounts, members will enjoy discounts on concessions at theaters and won’t have to pay online ticketing fees. Unlike MoviePass, users won’t be restricted from seeing specific films or specific formats; 3D, IMAX, and even AMC Dine-In theaters are included. Users can also make up to three reservations simultaneously, as opposed to MoviePass, where you’re limited to one.

A subscription to Stubs A-List includes all the benefits of a Stubs Premiere subscription, like free size upgrades on concessions, free large popcorn refills, and increased point accumulation. With a Stubs membership, every 5,000 points accrued nets you a $5 reward coupon, and with Premiere (and, now, A-List), you get 100 points for each $1 spent.

If you’re diligent about using those rewards, it grades out to a 10% discount across the board. A regular Stubs Premiere membership costs $15 per year (there’s a deal going right now which drops that down to $12, but the site says the deal was supposed to end on June 10). Unlike MoviePass, AMC won’t send you a physical card for Stubs A-List; instead, you’ll get a virtual card which you can access via the AMC mobile app.

Since AMC is the biggest theater chain in America — and considering some bad blood between the two companies last year — this could be construed as a shot across the bow of MoviePass. The program is a bit spendier than MoviePass (and not worth much if AMC doesn’t have a significant footprint in your area), but it offers users significantly more freedom and some extra benefits. In a statement to The Verge, an AMC spokesman downplayed any connection 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.”

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