AMC Entertainment will introduce an online video store in the United States on Tuesday.
Adam Aron, AMC’s president and chief executive, said that the AMC Theatres On Demand will offer about 2,000 films for sale or rent after their theatrical runs — much like Amazon or iTunes. Disney, Warner Bros., Universal, Sony and Paramount have made deals with AMC for catalog and new-release movies to be available through the new service, with pricing between $3 to $5.99 to rent and $9.99 to $19.99 to buy.
The development is taking place as the moviegoing industry faces significant challenges from the explosion of content available through streaming. The North American box office is down 5% this year to $8.85 billion as of Oct. 13, according to Comscore.
AMC has been aggressive at finding methods of engaging customers. Its Stubs A-List program, which allows customers to see three movies a week for $19.95 a month, recently hit 900,000 subscribers — far ahead of the original projection in 2018, when the chain launched the program as a means to combat the success of MoviePass. According to AMC, the program is now the No. 1 moviegoing subscription service in North America.
AMC, which has 659 locations in the U.S., hiked prices earlier this year in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York from $19.95 to $23.95 a month. The chain has also been touting improvements such as advanced Dolby sound and projection systems, extra-wide screens, recliner seats, offering alcoholic beverages and expanding its food services.
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“The addition of AMC Theatres On Demand, which extends our movie offerings for AMC Stubs members into their homes, makes perfect sense for AMC Theatres, for our studio partners and for our millions of movie-loving guests,” said Aron.
“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,” he added. “Through the launch of AMC Theatres On Demand, we can reach movie lovers directly and make it easy for them to access films digitally.”
Kansas-based AMC is partly owned by China’s Dalian Wanda Group. It became the largest chain after buying Carmike in the United States, Odeon in Britain and Nordic Theater Group in Northern Europe.
Canada’s Cineplex already offers an on-demand service and arthouse distribution specialist Kino Lorber recently launched VOD platform Kino Now with more than 600 new releases, classics and international films with exclusive early access to new theatrical releases, festival hits and exclusive titles not available on other streaming platforms or not yet available on home video.
The AMC news was first reported by the New York Times.