Subscribers to MoviePass service top one million

NEW YORK • MoviePass, the controversial service that lets customers attend a movie every day for US$9.95 (S$13.38) a month, surpassed a million subscribers, putting pressure on its owners to find a way to make a profit.

Since unveiling its new price in August, MoviePass' subscriber base has increased by more than 65-fold, according to a statement on Wednesday from parent company Helios & Matheson Analytics.

MoviePass pays cinema owners full price for tickets - about US$15 each in some cities - meaning it loses money on every sale. It plans to make up the difference by selling advertisements and possibly negotiating a cut of concessions from exhibitors.

The losses and funding needs raise doubt about whether MoviePass will be able to continue as a going concern, Helios & Matheson said last month.

Whatever happens, the service has rattled the theatre industry, which sees MoviePass' aggressive price as cheapening the moviegoing experience.

The Cinemark Holdings chain began offering a US$8.99-a-month service earlier this month that lets subscribers see one film a month.

AMC Entertainment Holdings has also suggested it might pursue a subscription service.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 22, 2017, with the headline 'Subscribers to MoviePass service top one million'. Print Edition | Subscribe