Earlier this month, struggling movie theater subscription service MoviePass shut down operations, theoretically temporarily. For months, we have said that the only way that a service like MoviePass could only succeed if it was directly run by a theater chain, or in partnership with a chain. This was a move that MoviePass never made, which meant that they were paying retail price for the tickets, which makes it impossible to be profitable unless subscribers never use the service at all. Whether MoviePass will return from their hiatus is yet to be seen.
Seizing the opportunity, Regal Cinemas has officially announced their long-rumored subscription plan: Regal Unlimited. The new plan varies from its predecessors by creating three tiers, based on the theaters available to watch movies. Unlimited will cost $18 per month and will be available at the smallest number of theaters - about 200. Unlimited Plus will run $21 per month and will be available at about 400 theaters. Unlimited All Access will run $23.50 per month and will be available in about 550 theaters - the entire Regal family.
While the theaters may be limited, the movies won't be. You will get unlimited movie tickets and no blackout dates. The tickets, however, are restricted to standard showings and will require an upgrade fee if you want to see a movie in IMAX, ScreenX, etc. In addition to your tickets, Regal Unlimited subscribers will get 10% off of all food and non-alcoholic concessions, plus free popcorn and soda for your birthday.
There is an important caveat, though. This subscription is a contract for 12 months, meaning that if you sign up, you are agreeing to pay for a full year of the subscription. You are also not allowed to downgrade your subscription during your first year. You can, however, upgrade your subscription in that time. If you want to use a theater above your subscription grade, you can also pay an additional fee per ticket. There is also an online booking fee of $0.50. This means that you'll more than likely be paying more per month for your subscription than the advertised price.