Coming to a theater near you: another subscription movie plan, this time from AMC. Following MoviePass and Sinemia, AMC announced AMC Stubs A-List, a new paid loyalty program that will cost $19.95 per month.
So, what do you get for that $20, which is just under the cost of a 3D movie ticket at most major establishments? And what other perks does it come with? Can it beat MoviePass or Sinemia?
How many movies can I watch per month?
Instead of offering a monthly allotment, Stubs A-List lets you watch three movies per week. The weeks begin on Fridays and end on Thursdays. That's 12 per month total (though the screenings from each week don't carry over if they go unused). That's far less than MoviePass' offering of one movie per day for $9.99 per month, but much more than you get with any of Sinemia's plans, which start at one ticket per month at $4.99 and go up to three tickets per month for $14.99.
|Tickets Per Month
|$9.99 per month
|Works in most theaters
|$60-$179.88 per year
|Advance ticket reservations; Premium (3D, IMAX, etc.) screenings (Elite tier only); Works in most theaters; No distance limitations
|$19.95 per month
|12 (3 per week)
|Advance ticket reservations; Premium (3D, IMAX, etc.) movies; drink and popcorn upgrades; No distance limitations
A-List members can even see all three movies in their plans on the same day, with a 2-hour buffer between each showtime. And members can see individual movies they have previously seen.
How can I sign up?
AMC Stubs A-List registration will begin on June 26, via AMC's website. You can sign up here to get a reminder when the program launches.
What makes it better than MoviePass?
Primarily, Stubs A-List is less limited when it comes to how you see the films and buy your tickets. For starters, you can buy advance tickets, so you're not waiting until the day of your show. That's huge if you love seeing big blockbusters on opening night, which typically requires buying tickets weeks or months beforehand.
Unlike with MoviePass, you can use Stubs A-List at all kinds of premium movie screenings, including IMAX, Dolby Cinema, RealD 3D, Prime and BigD.
Also, Stubs A-Listers get the same perks as AMC Stubs Premiere members, including free size upgrades for popcorn and beverages and a points-based rewards system. A-List members get 100 points for every $1 spent in membership fees per month, which works out to 1,995 points per month.
What makes it worse than MoviePass?
Aside from the lower number of maximum tickets per month and a price that's twice as much as MoviePass', the biggest problem with Stubs A-List is that it works at only AMC theaters, so you'd better hope those theaters get all the movies you want.
Are any special-edition screenings off limits?
You can't use Stubs A-List for IMAX VR screenings or special events, such as fan screenings, movie marathons or live events.
How does ticket buying work?
Instead of having a physical debit card, you'll buy tickets using the virtual card that AMC will give you when you sign up. Then, visit AMCTheatres.com or open the AMC Theatres app to access your virtual card, find a showtime and make a reservation. This process also works at the box office or the ticketing kiosks at AMC theaters.
Once a screening is announced, A-List members can make ticket reservations regardless of how many days into the future the screening occurs. You're limited to only three reservations at once, so if you've got three far-off screenings reserved, your account will be locked until one of the screenings passes. Also, you can reserve tickets only for yourself, and AMC employees will check for valid photo IDs at the theater.
If you can't make it to a showing, you can cancel your reservation via the AMC website at www.amctheatres.com/contact or its mobile app. You'll want to cancel any tickets you can't use, as they'll count against your weekly total, even if you're not there.
So, who is Stubs A-List for?
A-List beats MoviePass only if you see fewer than four movies in theaters per week and if your moviegoing habits revolve around AMC's theaters.
Also, if you must see big blockbusters on opening night, Stubs A-List is right for you. Those who love 3D movies and other enhanced screenings will also want to check out A-List.
Will Stubs A-List kill MoviePass?
With A-List's fewer restrictions and the widespread nature of AMC's theaters, there's a chance this service could put a dent into MoviePass' user count. Still, A-List's higher price means that MoviePass would need to be in trouble on its own. It won't die solely from this competitor.
What about Sinemia?
In a statement, Rifat Oguz, the CEO and founder of Sinemia, said, "We are happy to see new entrants in the market who understand that movie ticket subscriptions are the future of moviegoing," but he said that AMC's plan had issues, in the number of tickets it offers at a price of $20 per month.
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Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.