BREAK IT DOWN

Here’s how MoviePass, the “Netflix for cinemas,” stacks up against its rivals

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Obsession
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It’s a good time to be a moviegoer in the US.

After years of climbing ticket prices, movie-ticket subscriptions run by companies like MoviePass and Sinemia are making it more affordable to see films.

MoviePass, founded in 2011, kickstarted the movie-ticket subscription business last year when it slashed the price of its service to $9.95 a month for a 2D movie per day. The New York-based company has faced financial woes since then because of mounting costs to run the service. But its success in signing up members has led others, including theater chains, to launch services in the US as well. Cinemark announced a subscription service called Movie Club in late 2017. Sinema brought its subscription business to the US earlier this year. And AMC—the nation’s largest theater chain—is rolling out a subscription service called AMC Stubs A-List on June 26.

They’re all pretty good deals if you go to the movies at least once a month. Depending on how frequently you visit the cinema and the theater chains nearby, some may be better value than others.

Comparing the US’s movie-ticket subscriptions

Criteria MoviePass Sinemia AMC Stubs A-List
Price per month $7.95 or $9.95 $4.99 to $89.99 $19.95 (+ tax)
Movies tickets per month 3 or 31 (1 per day) 1 t0 3 12 (3 per week)
Premium formats (3D, Imax, etc.) No Yes; one per month Yes
Advance ticket buying No Yes Yes
E-ticketing Yes, but only day of the movie at select theaters Yes Yes
Reserve seats Yes, at select theaters Yes, at select theaters Yes, at select theaters
Number of plan options 2 4 plans, for up to 6 people each 1
Family plans No Yes, up to six people No
Theaters accepted Most major US theaters Most major US theaters AMC US locations
Regions available US US, UK, Canada, Australia, Turkey. Plans vary by region. US
Other perks MoviePass alters its plans regularly. Here’s the latest. Discounts for local restaurants. Free upgrades on concessions and other perks from the AMC Premiere membership program.
Other restrictions Each title can only be viewed once. Restrictions change regularly. Here’s the latest. 12-month commitment at sign up. 3-month commitment at sign up.

(Cinemark’s Movie Club, which borders on a loyalty program, is not included in this line-up. At $8.99 a month, it includes one 2D showing at Cinemark locations per month and 20% off concessions. Members can also pay extra to upgrade to 3D or another premium movie format, and buy additional movie tickets for $8.99 apiece.)

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