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AMC A-List & other theater subscriptions (See Post #2314)

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Tino, Aug 18, 2017.

  1. Message #2221 of 2353 Jul 1, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
    Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    Hypothetically -- again, because I don't have a Regal here -- I know I would go to the movies enough times to make that investment worthwhile. But I think that that would kill a lot of people's interest in the service, because $200+ is a lot of money to put down at once on something like movies. Even if you know you're going to use it, that's a very large lump sum, versus if it could be billed monthly; it wouldn't feel like as much because it's being taken out in smaller increments.

    The AMC A-List requirement of "You must initially commit to three months, but those three months will be billed separately" seems like a much more reasonable stipulation to me. Obviously, the goal is to prevent people from singing up for one month anytime they go to the movies to get the discount and then automatically cancel. That would be abuse of the system, so I think taking steps to prevent that is fair on the part of the theater chain. However, I think there are better ways to achieve that goal than making people pay for a year at a time.
     
  2. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    Agree.

    I also think Regal's plan will probably struggle to gain traction in markets where AMC is an equal. AMC got there first, and most people aren't going to want two plans.

    I know I won't. I have at least as many Regals as I do AMCs in my area, but I'm totally happy with A-List and I don't go to enough movies to need 2 plans.

    I almost never max out and go to the 12 movies per month A-List gets me, so I don't need an additional plan.

    The unlimited nature of Regal's plan is appealing, but again, I rarely use up all my AMC slots, so for all intents and purposes, A-List is already "unlimited".

    I could always cancel A-List and go Regal, but I've been totally happy with AMC and would be loathe to try a different program. A-List has been damned near seamless - I can't imagine Regal's plan will work better so why switch?

    It's that "late to the gate" factor I think will make it hard for Regal to make inroads in those shared markets. People who want a plan already have A-List and I doubt mainly will double up or switch...
     
  3. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    For me, the rumored Regal plan sounds great and the monthly price is right - but I just don’t want to make a year-long commitment when my feelings about moviegoing are changing on a much faster basis while my schedule is becoming less and less open.

    It looks like I’d need to see about 17 movies at Regal to break even on the unlimited pass. This calendar year, I have not yet gone to the theater 17 times, and I’m not sure I’ll hit that number by the end of the year.

    But I’m guessing they don’t want people to sign up during a box office boom, use it for major discounts, and then quit, which I understand. But as a customer, I’m less and less interested in longer term obligations and programs.

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that their program is set to roll out after Spider-Man’s first two weeks have ended. This is likely the biggest of the remaining summer tentpoles and Regal wants full price for it.
     
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  4. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    If they structured it like AMC -- where you had to commit to three months to start, but they were billed separately -- would you do it? As I said above, this seems to me to be a countermeasure where they can prevent people from signing up and then immediately cancelling, while not forcing people to make a year commitment.

    I agree with the general sentiment. There's an argument that could be made for Spider-Man or for The Lion King as the biggest remaining summer tentpole, but if Deadline is right and this launches "at the end of the month," then the first two weeks window on both films would have passed.
     
  5. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Yeah, absolutely, I’d give that a try. And I’d also be fine if they had a window, like AMC does, where if you cancel you must wait a few months before you can resubscribe. I just don’t want to pay $300 upfront when my movie theater visits have been on the decline for several years. It may wind up being cheaper for me to just pay full ticket price.

    At a different point in my life this would have been worth it even paying all up front. But that’s just where I’m at right now. It’s not good or bad but just the way it is.
     
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  6. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    Do you know what happens if you cancel A-List and then sign up again? Do you have to commit to 3 months when you reactivate a canceled membership?

    I'd assume "yes" - I'd assume you go back to zero if you bail - but that's just my guess...
     
  7. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    That’s a good question and I don’t know. When I did cancel, they said I’d have to wait a certain number of months before I was eligible to re-enroll. I think they said six months but I’m not positive.
     
  8. Wayne_j

    Wayne_j Cinematographer

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    Since I don't have any AMC's near me, I would still definitely join Regal's plan even having to pay a year in advance. The article also explained why they called the plan "unlimited", it is the name that Cineworld uses elsewhere in the world.
     
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  9. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    I don't know because I don't use AMC anymore. They lost my business permanently when their redesign of my only local AMC moved all the wheelchair seats to the back (except for the non-remodeled IMAX room.) I know about A-List because I keep tabs on things happening in the industry, and I would love it if Cinemark were to develop a similar program. But as long as AMC is okay forcing me to sit in the back row if I go to their theaters, I'm not interested in going there, regardless of how good a deal A-List is.

    That makes sense on a corporate level, but would probably still create confusion among the general consumer who doesn't read Deadline and wouldn't understand why there are three tiers all called unlimited.
     
  10. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    I agree with this statement 100%.
     
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  11. steve jaros

    steve jaros Supporting Actor

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    I love the structure of A-List. I won't be signing up for the new Regal plan because there are no Regal Cinemas in my area, but even if there were, I would stick with A-List. AMC really did a good job of crafting a plan that allows them to profit and protects themselves from the financial onslaught that Movie Pass faced, while still providing a really good value to the customer. The highlighted part of your quote is IMO a good example of that - works for them, works for us.
     
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  12. Message #2232 of 2353 Jul 2, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
    Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    I doubt Regal's main goal here is to convert A-List subscribers. They would probably love to do that if people wanted to switch, but I think it's more likely that they intend to serve the people who have already been coming to their theaters. It's obvious that one plan or the other would serve the vast majority of anyone's moviegoing needs, so I don't think an expectation that people would switch (or subscribe to both) is realistic.

    There is no Regal here either -- just a bunch of Cinemark places and the one, isolated, random AMC. I would sign up with Cinemark if they come out with a plan like either A-List or the new Regal one and that would be all that I need. They seem to be doing well with Movie Club; they're continuing to promote it heavily in-theater, even though the $8.99-per-ticket cost is higher than a single matinee ticket here. The difference, I think, is that Cinemark is targeting casual moviegoers, while both AMC and Regal seem designed for those of us who go extremely frequently.

    But I wonder if there will be pressure to keep up now that both AMC and Regal will have (almost) all-you-can-eat plans. Regal's arrival into this space won't shake up my market, but in markets where AMC and Regal and Cinemark all coexist, the fact that there are now two all-you-can-eat plans makes Cinemark look really unattractive in comparison.

    I hope eventually they might introduce a similar "big" subscription tier, as a plan of this nature would save me a lot of money. I would already be with AMC if the wheelchair seats were in a good location, but paying individually for tickets at Cinemark is worth more to me than accepting AMC's discount and having to sit in the back row on every visit.
     
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  13. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    That seems like a good way for AMC to prevent the opportunistic "join for a month and quit" crowd. If that's the policy, I'd expect they'd let you go back to month-to-month if you rejoined and not force you to commit to 3 months - it doesn't seem like they'd need a six-month period where you can't join AND a three-month commitment!
     
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  14. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    Here in the DC area, we're AMC, Regal and some independents - mostly.

    We have some smaller chains - Alamo Drafthouse, Bow Tie, Angelika, Arclight - and apparently a couple of Cinemarks, but I'd bet at least 75% of all DC-area movie tickets are sold at Regal and AMC.

    So we're pretty much covered by the 2 plans! :)
     
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  15. steve jaros

    steve jaros Supporting Actor

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    Yes, in a whole lot of places, like mine, there probably really isn't real competition between theater chains, as one is present while another isn't. In my city, the choice isn't A-List vs Regal's plan, it's A-List or nothing, since Regal isn't present. Probably only in the largest cities are there enough both AMC and Regal cinemas to make it a competitive choice type situation.
     
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  16. Rodney

    Rodney Screenwriter
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  17. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Anybody that trusts that company is being a foolish with their money. I've received more than a few offers to rejoin MP over the last several months including a couple of offers in the last couple of weeks. No way, I would trust them after opting out after they started changing their requirements.
     
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  18. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    :oops::eek::rolleyes::thumbsdown::thumbsdown::rolling-smiley:
     
  19. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    File this under "big surprise". I would also expect this is the end, but I'm surprised that they've even lasted this long, so who knows.

    I can't imagine anyone would see this company as a legitimate investment, as there is zero growth opportunity given how MP has mismanaged its business and driven away most of their potential core demographic, as seen by the comments above. The only reason to invest in MP is as a planned tax loss writeoff, which should be illegal.
     
  20. steve jaros

    steve jaros Supporting Actor

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    That's pretty awesome - an advantage of living in a big metro area.

    I have family in Annapolis, and there are two Bow Tie cinemas within about a 5 minute drive of the house, so if I lived there it would be very cool if they had a plan of some kind.

    As it was, the closest AMC to there was the Magic Johnson cinema on the grounds of the old Capital Centre, which was a good 25 minute drive away. But when I stayed there for three weeks last Christmas I went there anyway to use A-List, LOL.
     

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