If all the movies you can watch at home for one low price per month isn't enough, a Netflix co-founder has another proposal: a movie a day at actual movie theaters for one low price per month. That's the idea behind Mitch Lowe's startup company MoviePass, which Tuesday dropped that monthly subscription fee from up to $21 (for just two movies a month) to $9.95 for dozens—less than the cost of a single movie ticket in most cities, Bloomberg reports. That subscription enables moviegoers to view one showing per day in any US theater that takes debit cards (not counting 3D and Imax films), which Lowe thinks should boost lagging ticket sales. In return, MoviePass will pay the theater the full price of each ticket. To compensate for the money it may lose, MoviePass is selling a majority stake to data firm Helios and Matheson Analytics, with an IPO set for next year.
But while moviegoers are getting ready to pour butter on their popcorn, Variety reports that AMC is threatening to sue MoviePass for its cheaper plan, declaring in a statement that the subscription option is "shaky and unsustainable," an uneducated attempt to "turn lead into gold," and "not in the best interest of moviegoers, movie theaters, and movie studios." Although MoviePass says its customers increase attendance more than 110% and fork over more money for concessions, major exhibitors like AMC prefer to invest in their own customer rewards program instead of hooking up with outside parties. Lowe shrugs at AMC's waffling, comparing it to "like Blockbuster was when we rolled out Netflix or Redbox. It's the big guy being afraid of the little guy offering better value to consumers."