Last August, MoviePass unsurprisingly became very popular when the service dropped its subscription price from $30 to just $9.95 per month. It meant you could go and watch a movie every day in theaters and pay less than $10 a month. Considering the average price of a movie ticket in the US is $8.89, it left many scratching their heads as to the economics.
Now it seems, the high costs involved are catching up with MoviePass and it is quietly restricting access to certain AMC theaters. As Engadget notes, MoviePass no longer works at Empire 25 (NYC), Century City 15, Universal CityWalk 19 (LA), Loews Boston Common 19, River East 21 (Chicago), Disney Springs at Walt Disney World, and Loews Alderwood Mall 16 (WA) AMC theaters. Apparently no warning was given the theaters had been removed, leaving subscribers to find out when they visited, tried to watch a movie, and got rejected.
MoviePass hasn’t explained exactly why the theaters are no longer supported, but did apologize in response to a tweet from Daniella Puitiza asking why:
We apologize for the inconvenience, but we no longer work with this theater. We hope to partner with them again.
— MoviePass (@MoviePass) January 25, 2018
AMC initially tried to prevent MoviePass use last year, but ultimately allowed it to be used as long as tickets were paid for. AMC has also confirmed the removal of these theaters from MoviePass is nothing to do with them:
Some of our guests say MoviePass may be blocking the use of their service at a handful of AMC locations. AMC has not restricted MoviePass acceptance at our theatres, nor have we heard from MoviePass about this. MoviePass customers should contact MoviePass for clarification.
— AMC Guest Services (@AMCHelps) January 25, 2018
The removal of these theaters suggests that the cost of paying for tickets there is simply too high, or the volume of subscribers visiting them was too high for them to remain viable. As Deadline points out, back in November AMC CEO Adam Aron confirmed MoviePass is paying full price for the tickets, but also that each one costs $11.88. On a $9.95/month subscription that’s quite the shortfall.
We’ll have to wait and see if more theaters are removed from the supported list. For now, MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe advises subscribers, “to always double check the MoviePass app for the most up-to-date list of participating theaters.”