New York (CNN Business)AMC(AMC)Theatres, the largest movie theater chain in the world, is getting into streaming.
The company is launching AMC Theatres On Demand, a digital movie service that will allow members of its Stubs loyalty program the chance to rent or buy from 2,000 films produced by major Hollywood studios like Disney(DIS) and Universal.
Members will be able to download new films once they've completed a run in theaters, and will have access to a library of older films, AMC announced Tuesday. Films will cost roughly between $3 and $5.99 to rent and $9.99 to $19.99 to buy. Much like Amazon(AMZN)'s Prime Video orApple(AAPL)'s iTunes Store, AMC Theatres On Demand will allow its users to buy and rent films via its website and SmartTV and mobile apps. More than 20 million households are subscribed to AMC's Stubs program, according to the company.
They had to make some sort of move, right? I mean, movie theaters appear to be on the steep decline. If it's not some sort of blockbuster film or a Marvel movie, do people even go see movies in theaters anymore? I feel like today's generation is a little lazier but also very economically conscious. It makes sense, why pay upwards of $12 per person, plus another $15 for popcorn and a drink to see a movie with strangers who could ruin your movie experience with their various noises during the film when you could spend $3-$5 to rent a film, make popcorn at home and not have to worry about anyone shooting up the theater while you're inside it? (A very real thought in today's society).
AMC had to respond, they are the monopoly in the movie theater game. 2,000 movies seems like a lot of titles but how new are these films? What it's going to come down to is how soon the new releases are made available for streaming. Apple TV and the other services have a grace period between when the movie is available for purchase, then rent. That's usually after it's stint in a majority of theaters. So, to me, the only real way this seems worth it is if you get the new movies from the theaters before the other platforms get them...with that being said, without a subscription needed, pay as you go does seem like that will play in AMC's favor, again, only if movie goers can access the newest movies from the comfort of their home. Interested to see how this plays out...