Movie ticketing subscription service MoviePass expanded its reach via a deal with Mark Cuban’s Landmark Theatres this week, meaning that the service is now accepted at the Ritz theaters here in Philadelphia.
Frequently described as the “Netflix of movie theaters,” MoviePass allows users to see one film in a theater per day for a monthly subscription fee. Launched last year, the service started at $15 per month and went as high as $50 per month. It is currently being offered for $89.95 for a year subscription, which is $6.95 per month.
Now, with the addition of Ritz at the Bourse, Ritz East, and the Ritz Five through the Landmark deal, Philadelphians have more opportunities to use MoviePass to see independent films in addition to Hollywood blockbusters. Owned by Cuban and internet entrepreneur Todd Wagner, Landmark Theaters specializes in independent film, and operates 53 theaters around the country, according to Variety.
Previously, several major theaters in Philadelphia accepted the service, including the UA Riverview Plaza Stadium 17, the AMC North Broad Street 7, and the Cinemark University City Penn 6. The PFS Theater at the Roxy and The Prince Theater are also included in the service.
In the Suburbs, MoviePass can be used at a variety of locations, including AMC Marple 10, AMC Granite Run 8, AMC Painter’s Crossing 9, Regal Plymouth Meeting 10, UA King of Prussia Stadium 16 & IMAX, and the Bryn Mawr Film Institute, among others.
Last month, MoviePass hit two million users, Variety reports. It’s growth, however, has miffed some larger theaters, including AMC, which threatened to sue MoviePass last year and called the service unsustainable. This year, MoviePass removed several AMC theaters from its lineup, but no Philly-area theaters were affected.
MoviePass’ business model has been a controversial one. The service reportedly loses money on each ticket because it purchases tickets from theaters at full price, thereby offsetting theatergoing costs for users who pay a flat monthly fee. However, as Ted Farnsworth, chairman and CEO of MoviePass parent company Helios and Matheson, told Variety last month, its more about the user data, which the company hopes to use to leverage a profit.
“We believe the data MoviePass collects from these two million moviegoers will become an important asset to our partners and the future of the movie industry,” he said.