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MoviePass revives all-you-can-watch plan despite theater friction

August 30, 2011 | 11:40 am

Movie theater ticket line

MoviePass Inc., the New York company that angered theater chains in June over its planned roll-out of an  all-you-can-watch movie plan for $50, isn't going away.

The company, backed by AOL Ventures, on Tuesday announced plans to roll out its service across the country on a limited, invitation-only basis. Only this time, instead of partnering with MovieTickets.com, MoviePass has formed a partnership with Hollywood Movie Money, which provides promotional movie tickets to theaters across the country.

The announcement is likely to create more friction with exhibitors, many of whom have grown increasingly uneasy  about the heavy marketing of low price-tickets through discount services like Groupon, LivingSocial and MoviePass. The concern is that such promotions could hurt their business by encouraging moviegoers to wait for a bargain before trekking to the multiplex.

AMC and other theater chains blasted MoviePass when it was first announced in June, saying they had been blindsided by the program and wouldn't honor it.  But Ron Randolph-Wall, chief executive of Quantum Rewards, which operates MoviePass, anticipated a better reaction this time. "Because MoviePass will be paying theaters the full price of admission using the Hollywood Movie Money system, the theater industry benefits as well as the fans," Wall said in a statement.

No word yet from AMC and other exhibitors on MoviePass' latest incarnation.

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-- Richard Verrier

Photo: Ticket clerk Eric Michaels sells tickets to patrons at the booth at AMC Universal Citywalk Stadium 19 theaters in Universal City on Wednesday. Credit: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times.

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