Regal Cinemas is working on an unlimited movie ticket subscription service, says Deadline in an exclusive report. The service is tentatively set to launch at the end of July. Regal Cinemas has not issued a news release on the service, but Deadline revealed relevant details including pricing. The service will offer three pricing tiers: $18, $21 and $24 per month. It is possible that these prices are based on an annual purchase at $216, $252 and $288, respectively. According to Deadline, the movie ticket subscription service is based on parent company Cineworlds unlimited subscription service in the U.K. which has been around for more than a decade.
Each tier grants access to an unlimited number of tickets. The subscription price will be based on the location of the cinema. If someone subscribes at the low end but attends a theater in the top tier, they will pay a surcharge in the $2 to $3 range. It is not clear if there are price differentials or access to premium movie experiences such as IMAX and Dolby 3D. As an added bonus, subscribers will receive a 10% discount on concessions which can be used immediately.
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The movie ticket subscription service will complement the Regal Crown Club, its free loyalty program, that rewards members for money spent on tickets and concessions. Members earn 100 credits for every dollar they spend, and they can accrue unlimited credits. They can then spend the credits to get free movies, concessions or movie swag. For example, when using the Regal App or going online to load their loyalty cards, with 6,000 credits a moviegoer can get a free small popcorn; for 1,500 credits, they can get a soft drink upsize; and for 18,000 credits they can get a free 2D movie ticket. Rewards differ if exchanged at the box office.
This program is similar to the AMC Stubs A-List subscription program, but there are key differences. With the AMC movie subscription, subscribers can see up to three movies per week. There are no blackout dates, and subscribers can watch movies in any format, including Dolby Cinema, IMAX, RealD 3D, PRIME or 2D digital. They also get premiere perks including 10% back on concession purchases, free size upgrades on popcorn and fountain drinks, and priority lanes at the box office and concession stands.
AMC Stubs A-List also uses tiered pricing, but those tiers are based on market versus location.
With one year under its belt, AMC Theatres is seeing a lot of success with its movie ticket subscription service. Their one-year goal for the program was 500,000 members. At the end of 11 months, they had signed up 800,000 members. We are waiting for numbers as of June 26, their one-year anniversary. We think AMC Theatres has been successful for a number of reasons (see last Fridays column for a complete list), including far exceeding the user experience offered by the now-defunct Sinemia and MoviePass, which is barely hanging on.
Cinemark also has a movie ticket subscription service, Movie Club, but it has less in common with the other services. For $8.99 a month, subscribers get one 2D ticket per month, 20% off concessions and waived online fees and member pricing for additional tickets purchased online. This is a less robust subscription program, but far less ambitious and safer than MoviePass.
Is there room in the movie marketplace for two strong movie subscription services? We think so. AMC Theatres has done a great job learning from the mistakes of other services, and it has built a service that it is attractive to members and sustainable to investors. That said, Regal Cinemas needs to be cautious of offering an unlimited movie subscription service without some caveats. MoviePass couldnt make it work, and financially, it seems risky. We are eager to hear more details directly from Regal Cinemas to see what their goals are for the program and exactly what the perks and pricing will be. Well update you once we know more.