If you hold a MoviePass, you'll have to plan to catch your popcorn and show somewhere other than New York's Empire 25, LA's Century City 15 or Boston's Loew's Bostom Common 19, Deadline reported on Friday. (See the full list below.)
, the $10-a-month cinema subscription that's been called the Netflix of movie theaters, dropped 10 AMC theaters in major cities across America from its roster of participating partners as part of an , which at first blocked MoviePass before allowing subscribers in the door.
While the AMC theaters in MoviePass' target represent large markets, they represent less than 2 percent of all participating theaters, according to Helios and Matheson Analytics, MoviePass' parent company. They were also close enough to other theaters that work with MoviePass, so subscribers won't be left in a lurch, Helios and Matheson CEO Ted Farnsworth said in a statement to CNET.
The rocky relationship may exist in large part because the theater chain refuses to share the revenue gained by MoviePass subscribers.
Excluding a small number of theaters is one way MoviePass could be applying pressure to AMC, hoping that the theater chain will soften its stance on revenue sharing.
"AMC has absolutely no intention, I repeat no intention, of sharing any -- I repeat, any, of our admissions revenue or our concessions revenue with MoviePass," AMC's CEO Adam Aron said in November in an earnings call, according to Deadline.
According to a MoviePass, that's not the case. "MoviePass is pulling out because they feel AMC is not respecting MoviePass subscribers," a PR representative told CNET in an email, later stating that "MoviePass has been a success because they're committed to removing a price barrier for their subscribers -- and AMC has benefited from the subscription service."
The statement from Helios and Matheson CEO Farnsworth tells a different story, with a laser eye on AMC's profits.
"We know that we currently represent approximately 62 percent of AMC's operating income, assuming that AMC is flat year over year," Farnsworth said. "This equates to $34.4 million of gross profits to AMC in the upcoming quarter."
"In publicly disclosed 2017 financial documents, AMC claimed each customer spends $4.88 on concessions each visit -- meaning MoviePass subscribers could bring an additional $17.1 million in AMC concession revenues for Q1 of 2018, which on an annual run rate means $68.4 million more -- an annualized run rate going forward of over $203.4 million revenue from MoviePass subscribers."
Here's AMC's response:
"AMC has taken no action to block the acceptance of MoviePass at our theatres. We have no further comment about MoviePass's unilateral actions. We are, however, disappointed that MoviePass continues to make false statements about AMC, including today when MoviePass greatly exaggerated its contributions to AMC's profitability."
AMC did not say what MoviePass' contribution to its profitability actually is.
MoviePass research has shown that subscribers will skip the closest theater in favor of one participating with the service, according to the company.
If MoviePass continues to cut AMC theaters from its lineup, will that make a difference to you? Shout in the comments below.
MoviePass dropped these 10 AMC theaters:
- New York: Empire 25
- Boston: Loews Boston Common 19
- Washington, DC area: Tysons Corner 16
- Orlando/Daytona Beach area: Disney Springs 24
- Tampa/St. Petersburg area: Veterans 24
- Chicago: River East 21
- Los Angeles: Century City 15
- San Francisco Bay Area: Mercado 20
- San Diego: Mission Valley 20
- Seattle/Tacoma: Loews Alderwood Mall 16
Update, 11:16 a.m. PT and 12:15 p.m. PT: Added comments from MoviePass.
Update, 2:25 p.m. PT: Added comment from AMC.