In recent months, MoviePass has broken out from ho-hum loyalty program to go-for-broke movie subscription service hoping to make itself the middlemen between movie theaters and customers by essentially handing out tickets at a loss. That hasn’t done wonders for the company’s cash flow or stock price, and now their main competitor, Sinemia, is upping the ante by taking the card out of the equation altogether.
If you’re unfamiliar with these services, it’s very simple. You sign up for a subscription, in Sinemia’s case starting at $5 for one movie a month in 2D and ranging up to $15 for three movies a month in any format including 3D, and you get a debit card in the mail. You use the card, and an accompanying app, to buy your ticket, and the company makes up the difference. Sinemia is building on a few advantages it has, such as allowing any theater in any format and allowing advance ticketing and reserved seating, and doing it all through the app. So if you haven’t gotten your card, or don’t want to haul one around in your wallet, you can just buy in advance via the app. You can still keep the card handy if you happen to be near a theater and feel like catching Book Club, as well.
It’s definitely an advantage in what’s already a tough business. The main question for these services is whether they can hit critical mass to get theaters to start taking them seriously, and whether the good times for theatergoers can keep rolling. But for now, especially with the busy summer filmgoing season coming, it may be worth it.