Sign In

Is MoviePass Better Than AMC Stubs A-List? Let's Compare Movie Ticket Services

MoviePass offers the best deal at $10 per month, but their policies change a lot and their business model may not be sustainable.
Updated
Friends at the Movie Theater

NOTE: The MoviePass market is volatile right now, so keep an eye out for changes to the service.

The movie theater subscription scene has been seriously heating up with new plans disrupting the market — and the way we pay for a cinema experience.

Without a subscription to one of these services, you can expect to pay around $10 to $14 for just one adult movie ticket. If you enjoy going to the movies several times a week — or even just a few times a month — those tickets can really add up.

SEE ALSO: The 30 Best Customer Rewards Programs

Enter MoviePass, Sinemia, AMC Stubs A-List, and Cinemark Movie Club.

These subscription services make going to the movies more affordable, but which one's right for you? Let's go over the pricing of the four movie theater subscription services, as well as the pros and cons of each.

MoviePass

Price: $7.95 to $9.95 per month

MoviePass has been around since 2011, and has changed its pricing many times in recent history. The company's flagship "unlimited" plan, first launched in August 2017, lets you watch a new movie every day for $9.95 per month. As of this writing, that plan is currently available, as is a limited-time plan costing $7.95 a month. The latter plan gets you three movies a month and a free 3-month trial of the iHeartRadio All Access music streaming service. You can cancel anytime, so there's no commitment. MoviePass doesn't currently offer family plans, but has indicated it might do so in the future.

Is MoviePass Worth It?

It may seem like a no-brainer that MoviePass, which is "accepted at over 91% of theaters nationwide," offers the best deal. But many question whether the company's business model is sustainable, and the rate at which MoviePass changes its policies can be frustrating.

In early July, for instance, MoviePass implemented "peak pricing ... a new dynamic pricing system based on the demand for particular showtimes." In other words, if you want to see a summer blockbuster during opening weekend, expect to shell out an extra few bucks for that ticket.

With MoviePass, you can't watch the same movie twice. Don't try sharing your account with anyone, either, because it's not allowed. As a measure to crack down on fraud, the company recently put into place a strict beta ticket verification policy, which requires users to submit a photo of their ticket stub. Fail to comply and MoviePass will cancel your account.

MoviePass lets you watch a new movie every day for $9.95 per month. But many question whether this business model is sustainable.

We'd also be remiss not to mention the company's recent tracking scandal. At a conference this March, MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe said the app collects "an enormous amount of information" about subscribers, adding, "we watch how you drive from home to the movies. We watch where you go afterwards."

This naturally sparked backlash against the company; critics say you're sacrificing your privacy for those low subscription fees.

Lowe later backtracked on those statements, and said the app only tracks users' locations when they're searching for nearby theaters or checking into one.

"Through a mix of exuberance about our future and joking around, I mischaracterized how MoviePass locates our members," he wrote in a letter to members. "I apologize for these comments and the concern they caused."

Following that privacy scandal, MoviePass briefly lowered the price of its flagship plan to $6.95 per month in March. Then in April, the company stopped offering its flagship plan for about two weeks. During that time, plans for new subscribers offered four movie tickets a month, plus a 3-month trial of iHeartRadio All Access.

Sinemia

Price: $4.99 to $89.99 per month

Launched in the U.S. in February 2018, Sinemia currently offers a bevy of plans to choose from, all of which are billed annually. Plans start at just $4.99 for one movie ticket a month ($59.88 per year) or $7.99 monthly for two tickets ($95.88 a year). For 3D, 4D, and IMAX movies, you'll pay $10.99 a month ($131.88 a year) for two tickets or $15.99 monthly ($191.88 yearly) for three. In May, those prices were $1 cheaper per month, with the exception of the base plan.

SEE ALSO: 8 Ways to Watch HBO for Free (or Get It for Less)

Sinemia recently launched family plans with 20 different options to choose from. They start at $8.99 a month ($107.88 for the year) for "one movie day for two people per month", or a total of two tickets per month. You can get family plans for two to six people, with up to three tickets for each person per month. Sinemia's family plans go up to a whopping $89.99 a month ($1,079.88 a year) for "three movie days for six people per month," or a total of 18 tickets per month.

Is Sinemia Worth It?

It'd be easy for someone to argue that MoviePass' flagship $9.95 monthly plan gives you more value than any of the options Sinemia offers. So why even consider Sinemia? It's apparently the top movie subscription service in Canada, the U.K., Turkey, and Australia, and the company's founder and CEO says its model is sustainable. Sinemia works in all major U.S. theaters and offers a few perks you won't find on MoviePass, like the ability to book tickets and select seats up to 30 days in advance. It's also a great option for couples and families. And unlike MoviePass, Sinemia lets you watch the same movie twice.

Sinemia provides a lot of pricing options to choose from — perhaps too many. Regardless of the plan you choose, Sinemia requires you to pay for 12 months up front. So you'll be locked into that plan for a year — even if the price drops for new subscribers.

AMC Stubs A-List

Price: $19.95 per month

The most recent entry to this space is AMC's MoviePass competitor. Launched in late June, AMC Stubs A-List lets you see up to three movies a week — including IMAX, Dolby Cinema, and RealD 3D flicks — for $19.95 a month. You must sign up for a minimum of three months, and you can't carry over your tickets from one week to the next.

Is AMC Stubs A-List Worth It?

If you have an AMC theater in your area, this $20-per-month subscription program could be a good option. But as MoviePass recently pointed out, AMC Stubs A-List is only available in "23% of the nation's theaters." The service does offer some nice perks, though, such as the ability to see multiple movies per day and to book your tickets in advance.

With an AMC Stubs A-List subscription, members get perks like birthday freebies, access to priority lanes, and free popcorn refills.

Here's the main differentiator: A subscription to Stubs A-List also gives you all the same benefits of AMC Stubs Premiere. As part of that program, you get 100 points per every $1 spent on purchases at a participating AMC theaters. You even earn points on your monthly Stubs A-List membership charge. Once you hit 5,000 points (or $50 spent), you can cash in your points for a $5 reward, which you can use at the box office or concession stand.

Members also receive a free large fountain drink and large popcorn on their birthday, one free refill with the purchase of a large popcorn, and free upgrades to fountain drinks and popcorn (regular to large). Those food and drink deals are pretty sweet, considering purchases at the concession stand can really rack up your moviegoing costs. On top of that, members get their online ticketing fees waived and access to priority lanes at the box office and concession stand.

Cinemark Movie Club

Price: $8.99 per month

Cinemark Movie Club is priced at $8.99 per month, with no minimum enrollment period. Launched in December 2017, it gets you one 2D ticket per month and 20% off concessions. Upcharges apply on premium formats like XD, 3D, or IMAX.

Is Cinemark Movie Club Worth It?

Though it's the most basic of the four, Cinemark Movie Club can still save you a few bucks, considering one adult ticket at Cinemark normally cost around $12 to $13.50.

SEE ALSO: The Complete Guide to Senior Discounts

One unique perk about Cinemark Movie Club is that unused credits roll over and never expire. So if you're too busy to use your movie credit one month, you can save it for later — you can even use two or more credits in a single transaction. We all know how pricey popcorn, drinks, and candy are at the movies, so getting 20% off concessions is also a nice benefit. Plus, members don't have to pay online ticketing fees.

Cinemark Movie Club members are automatically enrolled in the company's Connections rewards program, which gives you points for purchases at the box office and concession stand. Those points can be redeemed for rewards like a free small drink or $1 off a large popcorn.

Cinemark Movie Club is available at all Cinemark, Century, CinéArts, Tinseltown, and Rave theaters. The main limitation of this program is that you might not have one of these theaters in your area.

Which Movie Ticket Service Is Best?

When it comes down to it, the value of these services is really going to depend on your usage and your location. If you see at least one movie a month, you can save by signing up for a movie subscription service that's accepted at theaters in your area. If you don't see yourself going to the movies that often, these subscription services probably aren't for you.

Readers, have you used MoviePass or another movie ticket service? Let us know in the comments below!


Contributing Writer

Angela is a DealNews contributor focused on consumer technology. You can also find her byline at PCMag.com. Follow her on Twitter at @amoscaritolo.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
You might also like
Leave a comment!

or Register
11 comments
Elizabeth Zimmerman (DealNews)
MoviePass was good to me through awards season, but then they cancelled my account without notice for buying a kids' ticket at the same time as mine. Technically against the rules, but still a jerk move.
DealRunner1337
I would only do Stubs A-List if they AMC had their premium theaters near me, I'm talking about D-Box, PRIME, and RealD 3D primarily. Also, I just don't have enough time every month to take advantage of a cool $20 package like this, and I am bummed that they don't give you free drinks or something as well because it's a lot more expensive than it actually looks. You get free upgrades, which is cool I guess, but since each drink or food item pretty much starts at $5, I'm not sure how anyone could really argue you're getting a "deal" by getting a "free" upgrade.

Whereas Harkins, I buy a $5-6 loyalty cup and then get $1.50 refills for an entire year.
DealRunner1337
AMC Stubs is pretty cool, I took advantage of that $12/stubs for a year thing, and I'm not complaining. I will say I prefer Harkins over AMC because Harkins has a better food/drink loyalty program in my opinion.
ancientart
We have two AMC theaters, including a dine-in, just across the street where we live. The AMC is a no-brainer. Advance tix purchase is easy and we get tix for first run shows easily. We already have our tix for Mission Impossible in a couple of weeks for the first night (and premium seats).
jeffdc1979
I think everyone whining about the article should just quit complaining. The article clearly lays out all the different options out there and points out that movie pass is hard to beat. I've had movie pass since December of last year and have had very few problems with it since. When there were no restrictions at all I thought it was a steal and didn't understand how they were in business. As the company starts to become more grounded, I am realizing they changed the ToS on me in order to not go bankrupt. I am not super happy about it but when you stop to think about it, I am still getting to see every movie in the theater at least once for next to nothing as long as I avoid peak times (Fri/Sat nights - which i avoided anyways) ... so really, MoviePass is still insane value if they can somehow manage to pick themselves up and dust themselves off ... but I still believe one day soon they are going to go bankrupt ... Even with the new ToS changes, it's too little too late imho.
ANowak
I purchased Moviepass on Dealnews from Costco. I thought it was a great deal however it turn out otherwise. I have never been able to use the passes and I have called, e-maied, attemtped to chat for hours and hours. I purchased 4 pass @$90 each and I feel I wasted my money. I would never buy a Moviepass again. Moviepass customer service is non=existence! Their CEO has made all types of stupid comments which had adverse affects on the company.
iowac
Pelican Joe you are exactly right. I mean they didnt even attempt to say "for us here at dealnews most of us liked XYZ the best"

The title should be "Movie pass memberships complete list with pros and cons"
vwoom
I use Moviepass currently 4 times/week, for new/premiere showings..now that I've seen virtually all movies, since i started early October 2017 (when no limited views were still in effect). I use it, in tandem with Regal Crown Club (currently @ 175,930 Regal Points.. 206,930 Lifetime Credits earned since Oct 2017. Over $700 worth of movies watched..). Earned Regal Points/used Moviepass..from Detroit, MI to here now in Los Angeles, CA. Currently viewing the premier showing of Skyscraper. What's not to love..with Moviepass.
asad511315
This is an interesting topic, however this article is anything but interesting. Seems like it was written just for the sake of filing some space inside the website. Gathering publicly available info into an essay does not constitute an article, a writer should provide his/her honest opinion. DealNews should adhere to higher standards when it comes to articles like these.
michael bonebright (DealNews)
@Pelican Joe--

We're sorry you didn't find the format helpful. As we said in the writeup, MoviePass is definitely the best deal right now, but the plans change a lot -- that's a big negative for a lot of folks. So our conclusion is that the best service is going to be the one that works for YOU. We tried to provide enough information so shoppers could make that determination.

Thanks for reading!
Pelican Joe
Sorry, but this is poorly written. Take a stand! You give a headline of "Which Movie Ticket Service Is Best?", then you don't even answer your own question! I'm not trying to be a troll here, but it just seems you've given data without any opinions.