AMC Entertainment Inc., Landmark Theatres and Camera Cinemas refused to honor a Netflix-style monthly pass to their theaters, saying they weren’t informed of a trial of the MoviePass service in San Francisco this weekend.
MoviePass, based in New York, had been advertising a $50-a-month trial offering users one movie a day, and said on its website the service would start this weekend in the three chains’ San Francisco-area theaters. References to the test were removed after Kansas City, Missouri-based AMC and Los Angeles-based Landmark said they wouldn’t participate.
E-mails and calls to a number listed on the MoviePass website weren’t immediately returned. The test was arranged through ticketing companies and not through the theater chains, the website TheWrap.com reported.
“We continue to evaluate the MoviePass program,” Joel Cohen, chief executive officer of MovieTickets.com, said in an e-mail. “However, we stand behind and support our theater partners and will always ensure our goals and interests are aligned with exhibition.”
AMC, the second-largest U.S. theater chain, wasn’t consulted about the MoviePass test, and won’t honor tickets, according to a statement today from the exhibitor.
Camera Cinemas will turn away customers who attempt to use the pass, Dominic Espinosa, director of operations, said in an interview. The company wasn’t contacted and hadn’t heard of MoviePass until seeing press accounts of the trial, he said.
Landmark Theatres also wasn’t informed and will try to prevent the tickets from being offered, TheWrap.com reported, citing an interview with Chief Executive Officer Ted Mundorff.
Netflix, based in Los Gatos, California, offers a subscription-based movie streaming and DVD rental service.