Why Cinemark’s unsexy $8.99 movie-theater subscription plan might actually be the one that survives (CNK)

Cinemark XD Auditorium final

Cinemark’s $8.99 monthly movie-ticket subscription plan, Movie Club, has gained 350,000 subscribers since it launched in December.
Cinemark CEO, Mark Zoradi, explained to Business Insider how his team came up with the plan, which could become the blueprint for a sustainable way to do theater subscription in the US.

Though most in the movie-theater space are annoyed by the way MoviePass has disrupted the business, they cannot deny that audiences love the movie-ticket subscription model.

In an era when the average movie ticket is priced at around $9.38, paying a monthly fee to go to the movies has turned out to be very attractive.

That was evident when MoviePass changed its model dramatically last August. Unveiling its $9.95 per month plan to see one movie per day, it became so popular that within a year of spending millions to pay for the tickets, it had to cap the plan at three movies per month to try and stay in business. But MoviePass was hardly the only company in the theater space to think about dabbling with a subscription model.

For years, the biggest theater chains in the country have been thinking of a way to offer customers a deal that would attract them to multiplexes while also making financial sense (and appease the Hollywood studios).

For close to a decade AMC Theaters, the largest exhibitor in the world, has been toying behind the scenes with a subscription model. It’s likely you can thank MoviePass’ popularity for why it finally unveiled A-List in June, the latest option in its Stubs customer loyalty plan. For $20 a month, AMC will let you see up to three movies every week (including large format showings).

A week later, the popular Alamo Drafthouse chain announced it would begin a beta version of its subscription model, Alamo Season Pass, at its Yonkers, New York location soon (no price has been announced yet).

However, the one subscription service that hasn’t received major attention was the first by any of the big exhibitors: Cinemark’s Movie Club. Since last December, the third-largest exhibitor in the country has offered its customers a $8.99 per month plan that gets you one standard format ticket, a 20% discount on concessions, and no fees if you order tickets online. Plus, your one movie credit will roll over to the next month if you don’t use it.

On paper, it doesn’t sound as sexy as the other deals out there, but when you take a look behind the curtain, Cinemark might have figured out a movie-ticket subscription model that can outlast its competition.

Attracting the casual moviegoer is key

On an earnings call Wednesday, Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi revealed that Movie Club had 350,000 subscribers, doubling its active members since the first quarter and representing 6% of Cinemark’s box-office revenue for the year.

If that doesn’t sound as impressive as the 3-plus million that have subscribed to MoviePass since last August, or the over 175,000 subscribers AMC has nabbed in five weeks, here’s the dirty secret about movie ticket …read more

Source:: Business Insider – Tech

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