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Take That, MoviePass! Cinemark Launches Monthly Membership Program

Theater chain’s Movie Club will cost $8.99 per month, offering one 2-D ticket and discounts on concessions

Cinemark has launched a monthly movie membership program titled Movie Club, which will offer a free monthly ticket and concession discounts, the exhibition giant announced Tuesday.

For $8.99 a month, members will receive one 2-D movie ticket each month with premium format ticket upgrades available, the ability to reserve seats and buy tickets online with no online fees, plus a 20 percent discount on concessions during every visit.

Unused tickets never expire and can actually roll over to following months, and buying additional tickets will cost the member the original price of $8.99.

“We are thrilled to launch our proprietary movie membership program that is completely consumer research-driven,” said Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi. “Based on the feedback we received, we designed Movie Club with all of the features and benefits that moviegoers desire most in a membership program without any of the hassle, enabling our guests to enjoy the moviegoing experience with their friends and family.”

To develop the new membership program, Cinemark conducted consumer research and studied other subscription program models, where they found that consumers preferred a monthly membership program with the benefits Movie Club will offer. Movie Club is accepted at all Cinemark locations across the country, including Century Theatres, CineArts, Tinseltown and Rave Cinemas.

The new program seems to be a direct response to MoviePass, which announced a new subscription plan in August that would allow subscribers to see any movie of their choice once per day at participating theaters for $9.95 per month instead of $45, excluding premium formats like 3D and IMAX.

Last month, MoviePass dropped its price to $7.50 a month (including a processing fee) with a new annual subscription. That’s significantly less than the $8.93 nationwide average price for a movie ticket that the National Association of Theater Owners reported in October for the third quarter of 2017.

Many exhibitors have objected to the MoviePass pricing plan even though the subscription service typically pays full ticket prices to theaters for its subscribers, expressing worry that consumers may become too accustomed to lower costs that can’t be maintained when MoviePass either raises its rates or goes out of business.