MoviePass has backed down from its blackout of 10 popular AMC theater locations, according to Variety. The reversal follows the controversial move by the subscription service in January to pull support from venues such as the AMC Empire 25 in New York, Universal City Walk near Los Angeles, and the AMC Loews Boston Common.
MoviePass claims it only blocked the locations to test consumer behavior. However, Deadline reports that MoviePass said back in January that they pulled support of the locations because AMC wasn’t willing to participate in a revenue-sharing agreement in return for driving business to its theaters. AMC chief executive Adam Aron previously told analysts in November that his company “has absolutely no intention” of sharing admissions or concessions revenue with MoviePass.
AMC Theatres and MoviePass have had a contentious relationship since the subscription service first lowered its price to $10 per month last summer. Following the announcement, AMC looked into the possibility of legal action to block MoviePass from being used in its theaters and predicted the company would fail because of its unsustainable business model.
Indeed, MoviePass is reportedly “operating at a significant loss” since the company essentially subsidizes the cost of a ticket for its subscribers, as noted by Variety during the service’s temporary price drop to $6.95.
However, the service has said it hopes to increase revenue by selling the data it collects from customers to theater chains and studios. In addition, MoviePass has diversified its offerings by including access to the streaming service Fandor, known for its selection of independent films. It’s also getting into film production, having recently acquired Bart Layton’s heist drama, American Animals, out of Sundance.