SALT LAKE CITY — MoviePass customers took a hit on Thursday as they learned their pass would no longer work at certain AMC theaters.
MoviePass shared the news through a tweet to a dissatisfied customer, who complained that her MoviePass didn't work at an AMC theater in New York City.
Complaint: Twitter user Daniella Pitiza tweeted at Movie Pass and said, "About 12 people trying to use @MoviePass in the lobby of AMC empire 25 nyc and it claims we’re not 100yards from the theater."
Response: MoviePass promptly responded, "We apologize for the inconvenience, but we no longer work with this theater. We hope to partner with them again."
According to Deadline, AMC isn’t turning away MoviePass. Rather, the subscription service, which allows customers to see one movie a day for $9.99 a month, has stopped allowing people to visit certain theaters, including Empire 25 in NYC, the Universal City Walk, AMC Loews Boston Common and the AMC Century Plaza.
MoviePass already doesn’t work with high-priced theaters, such as ArcLight Cinemas, Landmark Theatres or iPic.
MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe sent out a statement confirming the news.
“As of today, you’ll find a small handful of theaters are no longer available on our platform. Our No. 1 goal as a company is to provide an accessible price-point for people to enjoy films the way they’re meant to be seen: on the big screen. Many exhibitors have been receptive to this mission, and we’re excited to keep working with theater chains that are closely aligned with our customer service values.
"As we continue to strive for mutually beneficial relationships with theaters, the list of theaters we work with is subject to change. We advise customers to always double check the MoviePass app for the most up-to-date list of participating theaters," he said.
More tweets from MoviePass confirmed the news.
Some of our guests say MoviePass may be blocking the use of their service at a handful of AMC locations. AMC has not restricted MoviePass acceptance at our theatres, nor have we heard from MoviePass about this. MoviePass customers should contact MoviePass for clarification.— AMC Guest Services (@AMCHelps) January 25, 2018
Ted Farnsworth, chairman and CEO of Helios and Matheson, which owns a majority stake in Movie Pass, said in a statement emailed to the Deseret News that "MoviePass subscribers are not theater-loyal; they're happy to drive by a theater that may be closer to a theater that will accept MoviePass because of the MoviePass value."
Insiders told Deadline that MoviePass has led to $2 million in ticket sales every week at AMC theater.
Why it matters: AMC has continually questioned whether or not MoviePass will last over the long-term, according to Verge. AMC once called MoviePass a “small-fringe player” in the movie theater business.
AMC threatened to file a lawsuit against MoviePass as well, saying that MoviePass would change the value of movies, which would make theaters unable to charge enough money to stay in business, the Deseret News reported.
“AMC also believes that promising essentially unlimited first-run movie content at a price below $10 per month over time will not provide sufficient revenue to operate quality theaters, nor will it produce enough income to provide filmmakers with sufficient incentive to make great new movies,” the company said back in August 2017.
To counter MoviePass, or other subscription companies like it, Cinemark announced a new service for movie theater fans, according to the Deseret News.
Cinemark's service costs $8.99 a month and gives customers one free ticket per month.