It’s time to face facts. A trip to the movies is getting expensive. For even a casual movie-goer, the price of tickets alone is enough to put a dent in the wallet, not to mention the rising costs of concessions. Going to see a movie simply isn’t the “low cost” entertainment it used to be.
So what’s the answer?
Well, MoviePass thought they had it. They attempted to cut the cost at the box office with a subscription-based ticket service which was a great idea…or so we thought. Customers quickly learned they couldn’t rely on MoviePass to deliver on its promises. And so, it looked like movie lovers everywhere would have to go back to the standard box office prices.
Enter the Giants
ICYMI, AMC Theaters quickly picked up the slack of their movie subscription predecessors. They’re pushing their Stubs “A-List” level package to customers at every turn, and it is succeeding.
AMC recently surpassed 900,000 members to their program, but they’re not the only one looking to corner the market. Cinemark has the “Movie Club,” which doesn’t provide “unlimited” anything, but they try. Regal Cinemas just kicked off its “Regal Unlimited” program to rival that of AMC. Sure, they’re a relatively new dog in this fight, but Regal is showing a lot of grit by throwing around the word “unlimited” like that.
The only question left to answer is, which one should we pick?
Make Us an Offer
First things first, we have to know what we’re getting from these theaters. What’s the draw for us to commit to either one?
AMC theaters kicks us off with their “A-List” subscription. For a monthly fee of $19.95 to $23.95 (depending on location) you will receive:
- Three free movie tickets per week
- Online reservations
- Priority lines at ticket office and concessions stands
- Discount Tuesdays
- Free size upgrades on concession foods
- Exclusive offers
- Member WiFi
Regal Cinemas took a slightly different approach with their program. For $18, $21, or $23.50 per month (depending on your theater selections) “Regal Unlimited” offers you:
- Unlimited free movie tickets
- 10% off concessions
- Reward points benefits
- Access to “Regal Unlimited” screenings
Cinemark Movie Club works with less restrictions but also a lower monthly buy-in at $8.99. For that fee, movie-goers recieve:
- One 2D ticket each month (and they can rollover if unused)
- 20% off all concessions, which can be shared with a friend
- Waived fees for all online ticket and merch purchases
- “Member Price” tickets
- No contracts
The Choice is Yours
Is there a clear winner between the three subscriptions? Not really. It depends what you need and want.
While Regal does offer you the capability to “watch as many movies as you want, as many times as you want, whenever you want, wherever you want,” they don’t waive surcharges for their premium shows like AMC does.
AMC, on the other hand, has priority lines for it’s subscribers and don’t throw in hidden fees for online reservations or advanced screenings. Still, three tickets a week isn’t quite the unlimited plan of Regal.
And then if a budget is your thing, Cinemark offers a good amount of perks for a low fee.
Ultimately, it all comes down to you. How much time do you spend at the movies? If the answer is three days a week or less, AMC is your obvious choice. It’s convenient, it’s straight forward, and it’s affordable. If you’re a movie nut, and spend more time at the theater than you’d like to admit, it’s Regal all the way.
There’d be nothing stopping you from seeing the latest Marvel film 35 times before it leaves the big screen. It is worth noting, however, that Regal is currently requiring a one-year commitment upon enrollment.
No matter which plan you pick, and even if you don’t view either one as right for you, there’s no denying that this trend of cinema and subscription is one tasty combo.