- Business Insider
MoviePass has hit yet another stumbling block during its troubled rollout, with AMC Theatres blocking users from being able to purchase e-tickets at locations in Boston and Denver, according to a report by SlashFilm.
The app, which has been around since 2011 but introduced a new $10-a-month pricing model last week, allows subscribers to see a movie a day in theaters.
After the announcement of the new, lower price, AMC released a statement saying it would be consulting with its attorneys to see if it could block MoviePass’ efforts.
The theater chain, which is the largest in country, asserts that MoviePass’ business model is unsustainable, and that moviegoers will be set up for “ultimate disappointment down the road” when it goes under.
Simply put, AMC is worried that if MoviePass goes down, nobody will want to pay full price for a movie anymore.
It appears unlikely that AMC will be able to fully block MoviePass, as the service has its own agreement with MasterCard to provide subscribers with pre-loaded debit cards they can use to purchase their tickets.
“We comply fully with the rules of MasterCard and AMC has signed agreements with both their credit card processor and with MasterCard to comply with all the rules,” MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe told Variety. “They would essentially have to not take MasterCard in order to block us.”
However, AMC is able to make MoviePass more inconvenient to use. By blocking e-ticketing at locations in Boston and Denver, the theater chain has made it so that subscribers are unable to order their tickets from home, in advance of the showtime they want to see.
This measure won’t prevent MoviePass subscribers from going to those locations, though. Instead, they’ll just need to swipe their debit cards in person.
Only 6% of the theaters MoviePass subscribers have access to offer e-ticketing, so it does not appear that this move by AMC will have much of an effect on subscribers. Time will tell what other measures, if any, the theater chain might take against MoviePass.