AMC Theatres

AMC Theatres Has Nothing to Lose

Honestly, I don’t see what AMC Theatres has to lose here. First of all, MarketWatch points out that while the box office saw a record year in revenue for a second year in a row last year, movie theater admissions were down in 2016 compared to 2015, and that’s from the National Association of Theatre Owners. The only reason box office numbers were still up is because of the high ticket prices and which includes movie theater “solutions” to lower attendance that add more expensive tickets for more immersive experiences through D-Box or 4DX seats, or more commonly, IMAX and 3D movies, though as we’ve seen, the latter is having trouble drumming up interest lately.

Secondly, AMC Theatres and the rest of America’s movie theater chains aren’t doing so hot at the stock market. Again, MarketWatch points out that in the year to date, shares of AMC Entertainment Inc. have fallen by almost 61%, and IMAX is falling with a 41% drop. Meanwhile, Regal Entertainment Group and Marcus Corp. are down nearly 19% and Cinemark Holdings Inc. is down about 5%. Movie theaters aren’t doing well, so why wouldn’t you try to boost attendance with a real innovation instead of just offering a seat that shakes or disappointing burger sliders at concessions?

Expanding on the goal of increasing attendance to movie theaters, MoviePass hopes their app “can help studios with marketing films and create an Uber-like experience for cinemas where customers can do everything from the app and don’t have to reach for a wallet, making it easier to pay for things like concessions.” Why does that sound so threatening to AMC Theatres? Because it’s not their idea.

AMC Stubs

Why Doesn’t AMC Theatres Create Their Own MoviePass?

The question is, why doesn’t AMC Theatres just have their own subscription service like this? Movie theater chains in places like the United Kingdom have their own programs where their loyal customers pay a fixed dollar amount each month (or even annually) to see unlimited movies at any of a certain chain’s movie theater locations.

If AMC Theatres is so worried that a program like this is going to hurt their revenue, then why don’t they come up with their own service with a price point that is cost friendly to their customers but still brings in the amount of money from ticket sales that they seemingly desperately need in order to offer their customer such a high quality movie theater experience? They already have their AMC Stubs program, which also has the higher tier annual subscription AMC Stubs Premiere, so why not just create a new arm for that rewards service and create a subscription service of your own? You cut out the middle man and you get all the benefits.

Matthew McConaughey crying in Interstellar

What Are You Afraid Of, AMC Theatres?

So what the hell are you scared of, AMC Theatres? It’s not as if your chain is at the height of movie theater quality right now. One of my local movie theater chains had two silver screens in need of repair for roughly a month. Despite discoloration that resulted from these screens needing to be repaired, you kept playing movies on them and ruined two of my moviegoing experiences.

I’m sure there are similar experiences all over the country that can prove that, despite being the largest theater chain in America, you’re far from the best, and there’s a reason people aren’t coming to your theaters any more. The price they’re paying for the quality they’re getting isn’t worth it. Maybe give MoviePass a chance to increase your attendance and figure out how you can make your customers happier by giving them a moviegoing experience worth remembering, and not because it was unpleasant.

Instead of dictating what you think is good for moviegoers by denying them the opportunity to take advantage of a deal that you didn’t think of yourself, why not let the market speak? Right now, it appears audiences want MoviePass, and if you ban the service, all you’re going to do is upset the customers who have been frequenting your establishments for years thanks to the presence of the service in its previous form, and any new customers who start coming to theaters because of the new MoviePass subscription model. And you can’t afford to lose any more customers.

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