Watch movies for $13.60 a month?

Moviegoers at a cinema in Los Angeles.
Moviegoers at a cinema in Los Angeles.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

DALLAS • Pay US$9.95 (S$13.60) a month to watch a movie in a cinema every day of the month?

The offer from subscription service provider MoviePass has whipped up such a big interest in the United States that its servers crashed.

MoviePass, run by Mr Mitch Lowe, an early Netflix executive, pays theatres the full price of each ticket used by subscribers, excluding 3D or Imax screens.

But, according to Bloomberg, it could lose a lot of money subsidising people's movie habits.

On Tuesday, MoviePass raised money by selling a majority stake to Helios and Matheson Analytics, a publicly traded data firm in New York.

The cost of a ticket has almost doubled in the last two decades, according to website Box Office Mojo. The average price is about US$8.89.

Still, the top four US cinema operators lost US$1.3 billion in market value early this month after a disappointing summer marked by tepid performances by blockbusters and sequels.

Though MoviePass' move seems like a new lifeline for cinemas, AMC Theatres, the largest operator, is not impressed and is consulting its lawyers in a bid to kill the plan.

In a press release, it said: "Holding out to consumers that first-run movies can be watched in theatres at great quantities for a monthly price of US$9.95 isn't doing moviegoers any favours.

"That price is unsustainable and only sets up consumers for ultimate disappointment down the road."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 17, 2017, with the headline 'Watch movies for $13.60 a month?'. Print Edition | Subscribe