Cinemark Launches Movie Club to Compete Against MoviePass
Monthly membership program gives subscribers discounted tickets and concessions.
Yesterday Texas-based movie chain Cinemark (NYSE: CNK) has launched Movie Club which it calls the movie-lover’s membership. The monthly membership program gives members one discounted 2D adult movie ticket every month for $8.99 plus 20 percent off on concession purchases, waived online fees and other exclusive benefits. Unused tickets roll over and never expire for active members; members who cancel have up to six months following cancellation to use their credits.
Members can also share the concession discount with one friend per visit, reserve tickets online, buy tickets in advance, and purchase additional tickets at $8.99 each. Tickets can be used on any 2D movie at any time. Upcharges apply for premium movie formats including XD, 3D and IMAX and several select theaters. Members earn points for purchases through Cinemark’s Connections program for rewards like movie swag, digital downloads and sweepstakes entries.
‘We are thrilled to launch our proprietary movie membership program that is completely consumer research-driven,’ said Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi in a press release. ‘Based on the feedback we received, we designed Movie Club with all of the features and benefits that movie goers desire most in a membership program without any of the hassle, enabling our guests to enjoy the moviegoing experience with their friends and family.’
According to the press release, Cinemark conducted extensive consumer research and studied the best subscription program models within and outside of the entertainment industry. Based on that research, the company determined that consumers preferred monthly membership programs with ticket rollover benefits that accumulate credits, seat reservations and significant discounts on concessions.
A Movie Club membership can be purchased online at Cinemark.com or through the Cinemark app available in the App Store or Google Play Store. Tickets purchased through the membership program are accessed through the app for scanning at 533 Cinemark movie theaters across the country, including Century Theatres, CineArts, Tinseltown and Rave Cinemas.
This news comes just two weeks after MoviePass announced it was lowering its monthly subscription for a limited time from $9.95 per month to $6.95. With a MoviePass subscription, subscribers pay $6.95 a month to go to a movie as often as once a day. Though the subscribers get a steal on movie ticket prices, which average $8.93 in 2017, MoviePass pays participating theaters full price for the ticket. Where MoviePass will make its money isn’t in the subscription program though. They are going for the data gleaned from subscribers about their movie habits.
As we reported last week, AMC Theatres has strongly opposed the MoviePass concept, calling it unsustainable and predicting that subscribers will be disappointed later when the company either shuts down or raises its rates.
While Cinemark may be trying to compete with MoviePass, we aren’t comparing apples to oranges here. Getting one discounted movie ticket per month, plus 20 percent off in concessions, is not the same as paying less than the price of one ticket for 28 to 31 movies per month. Cinemark’s program is a good way to test subscriptions in markets where they have theaters, but it can’t compete with MoviePass. They are very different programs with different models, strategies and goals. Based on MoviePass’s history with other business models, we aren’t convinced that its current strategy is sustainable either, but it is good for consumers – and for theaters if it boosts concessions sales – for as long as it lasts.