AMC: Fuck It, Let's Do Streaming Too

Illustration for article titled AMC: Fuck It, Let's Do Streaming Too
Photo: AMC Theatres

Less than a month before multiplex film juggernaut Disney is set to launch its streaming service, the largest theater operator in the world has released its own on-demand online movie store.


On Tuesday, AMC Theatres launched a video service that will allow subscribers to watch about 2,00o movies for rent and purchase on-demand.

A screenshot of the AMC Theatres On Demand app
A screenshot of the AMC Theatres On Demand app
Screenshot: AMC Theatres

The New York Times reports that Disney, Paramount, Universal, Sony, and Warner Bros.—the five largest studios—have agreements with AMC to feature newly released and catalog films. The AMC service will reportedly charge about $10 to $20 to purchase movies and about $3 to $6 to rent movies.

The new platform will lean on its theater subscription service, AMC Stubs A-List, which allows customers to view three movies at theaters each week for $20 a month. The program—which was inspired by the now-deceased MoviePass—recently passed 900,000 subscribers, according to Variety. AMC says its lower-tier customer loyalty program, AMC Stubs, has 20 million subscribers. Of course, AMC faces heavy competition from other movie streaming services like iTunes, Amazon, and Disney+, but AMC CEO and President Adam Aron said in a statement that the Stubs database gives the business a marketing edge.

“With more than 20 million AMC Stubs households, and with our web site and smartphone apps already being visited hundreds of millions of times annually by movie fans, AMC Theatres is in a unique position to promote specific movies with greater personalization than has ever been possible before,” AMC CEO and President Adam Aron said in a statement shared with Gizmodo. “Through the launch of AMC Theatres On Demand, we can reach movie lovers directly and make it easy for them to access films digitally.”

AMC’s chief content officer, Elizabeth Frank, provided an example to the Times showing how the company plans to use the Stubs service. She said that the roughly 6 million Stubs users who bought tickets to The Lion King “will all get a personalized message from AMC saying that they can now enjoy it at home through AMC Theaters On Demand” when the film is released digitally.


The new service targets movie buffs who regularly watch movies at the theater, but also stream, like everyone else. It seems AMC is trying to forge a stronger connection between the two experiences.

Former senior reporter at Gizmodo


Craig Maloof

Nothing screams understanding your market like “Here, let’s offer you the same kind of storefront you can get from about 40 other places”. The reality, AMC (and this goes for you too Cinemark and other cinemas), we don’t need another storefront selling/renting us movies that we can get from another storefront (or streaming service).

What we want is the ability to watch a movie, as it comes out in theaters, in the comfort of our own house. I promise you, you will get more money that way. As it stands, if my wife and I want to go see a movie (a non-kid friendly movie), we have to get a babysitter and plan for 3-4 hours for that baby sitter. Adding an additional $40+ to see a movie usually has us in the mood to NOT go and just stay home to watch a movie on Netflix.

If I could spend $30 to see a movie I wanted to see in theaters as it’s released in the comfort of my own home, that would make all the difference in the world. Alas, that’s never going to happen.