Regal Cinema's Reportedly Set to Launch a MoviePass-Style Unlimited Subscription Plan

I swear there was only this old ass photo from 2004.
I swear there was only this old ass photo from 2004.
Photo: Getty Images

Movie prices just ain’t what they used to be. And with box office numbers still dwindling, Regal Cinemas is reportedly the latest movie theater chain to jump into that unlimited subscription fray.

According to an exclusive from Deadline, Regal’s subscription service should be hitting the U.S. at the end of July. Details are still being ironed out, but it looks like there’ll be three pricing tiers of $18, $21, and $24 per month.

Unlike competitor AMC’s Stubs A-List, which varies by state, Deadline reports Regal’s system, reportedly called Regal Unlimited, will limit lower-tier customers by theater location. So, if you get the top tier, you’ll have access to any Regal Cinema in the country, but the lowest tier will only get you about half the number of theaters nationally, according to Deadline. By that logic, the middle tier will presumably get you in the ballpark of 75 percent of all Regal theaters. 


Each tier will also immediately get 10 percent off on concessions—none of that voucher nonsense. However, Deadline notes that it’s possible that Regal will make subscribers pay for a full year in advance, meaning you’ll have to fork over $216, $252, or $288 up front. It’s also unclear whether premium viewing options, like Imax, will be included as part of the service.

It’s not surprising that Regal’s getting into the subscription game. As streaming services get more popular, theaters have been struggling to convince people they should shell out to see movies in theaters. According to the Hollywood Reporter, box office revenue is down roughly 10 percent midyear, while ticket sales for the summer blockbuster season are down 7.3 percent.

So what makes this different from that all-too-famous mess MoviePass? Regal’s plan is reportedly based off parent company CineWorld’s unlimited subscription plan in the United Kingdom. That particular plan has been around for over a decade, and in the U.K., prices range from roughly $9 to $18. Unlike MoviePass, it mitigates the risk of offering a flat price to all customers, regardless of the area they live in. Still, the viability of unlimited plans is up for debate. Besides MoviePass’s ongoing downward spiral, its spiritual successor, Sinema, folded in the U.S., citing legal troubles with MoviePass. On the other hand, AMC’s program seems to be a hit for the chain, and Alamo Drafthouse is also planning on launching an unlimited program by the end of this year.


Consumer tech reporter by day, danger noodle by night. No, I'm not the K-Pop star.

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The main difference seems to be that Regal is selling its own services while MoviePass was selling somebody else’s. This makes a hell of a lot more sense, but that’s a low bar.