A College Student’s Guide to Movie Subscription Services
Sinemia has a number of different pricing options, but the two core models are the Classic Movie plan and the Elite Movie plan.
For $8 a month, the Classic Movie plan allows you to see 2 movies a month in regular 2D formats.
For $11 a month, the Elite Movie plan allows you to see 2 movies a month in any format you would like, including IMAX and 3D.
The program is 100% on your phone, and you have the option of reserving seats in advance online from the app.
+Lower pricing model for IMAX and 3D ticket services
+Access to most theater chains nationwide (Cinemark, AMC, Regal, Alamo Drafthouse, etc.)
+Save around $15 with the Classic plan and $20 with the Elite plan if you see 2 movies a month
+Don’t have to mess with any type of credit card, all transactions are on the app
+Can reserve seats online
-Can only see 2 movies a month
-Can only see 1 movie a day
-Very low ceiling when it comes to how much money you can end up saving
You should choose Sinemia if:
You are certain that you will not see more than 2 movies a month, and want to save a couple of dollars. The Elite Movie plan provides an added bonus for those who enjoy IMAX or 3D screenings.
Cinemark Movie Club
The Cinemark Movie Club program costs $9/month. Being a member of this program lowers your ticket price at Cinemark theaters to $9 per ticket, and gives you one free ticket a month. But since you’re paying the $9 monthly fee, that “free” ticket isn’t actually free.
Since the average ticket price for a regular ticket at Cinemark is around $11 to $13, you are saving about $2 to $4 every time you see a movie as a member of Cinemark Movie Club. Other features include waived online purchasing fees and 20% off all concessions purchases.
+Less expensive snacks and drinks
+Technically saving money (even if it is only a few dollars)
+Can purchase tickets and reserve seats online
- Can save significantly more money with other programs
-The 20% off deal might cause you to indirectly spend money on concessions more often
-You can only use this promotion at Cinemark theaters
You should choose Cinemark Movie Club if:
For some reason the only theater within 50 miles of you is a Cinemark. Then technically you might save a few dollars every month.
For $10 a month, you can see one movie every day for the entire month. This means that for every month you pay $10, you can see a maximum of 30 to 31 movies depending on how many days are in that particular month. In order to pay for your tickets, you will be mailed a credit card that can only be used when you are within 100 yards of a participating movie theater. Once you arrive at the theater, you pick a showtime on the MoviePass app, and the exact amount of money needed to purchase your ticket is transferred onto your Movie Pass credit card, which you can then use at any kiosk or ticket counter.
+Access to most theater chains across the country (Cinemark, AMC, Regal, Alamo Drafthouse, etc.)
+You earn your money back after only seeing one movie a month
+Can save hundreds of dollars if you see 3-4 movies a month (or more)
-Most theaters do not have an online ticketing function with MoviePass, so you have to arrive early to get good seats reserved
-Awful customer service
-Constantly changing policies (Ex. upcoming surge pricing, which places a small additional charge on popular movies seen at “peak” times)
-Can only see each movie once
-No access to IMAX or 3D showings
You should choose MoviePass if:
You see two or more movies a month and like to have flexibility when it comes to which theater you go to. MoviePass is also the best option if you are trying to seek out independent or smaller movies because they might not be playing at AMC or Cinemark.
AMC Stubs A-List
For $20 a month, you can see 3 movies a week in any format (2D, 3D, Imax, Dolby Cinema, etc.). You can see as many as 3 movies all over the course of one day, and there is no limit to how many times you can see a single movie. The tickets you purchase also help you earn points that you can put towards discounted concessions.
+Access to IMAX and 3D screenings
+No limit to how many times you can see a movie
+No limit to how many movies you can see in a single day (though you are still restricted to a total of 3 a week)
+Free snack and drink size upgrades and priority line access for ticket counters and concession stands
-Might miss out on smaller, independent movies that never show at AMC
-Can only go to AMC locations
-Double the price of its competitors
You should choose AMC Stubs A-List if:
A majority of movies you see are blockbuster films that are shown in IMAX (aka Marvel, Star Wars, and DC films). If this is the case, signing up for AMC Stubs A-List would probably save you quite a bit of money over the course of the year. This is also a solid option if you primarily go to AMC theaters or if AMC is the closest theater to your home or apartment.
CONSENSUS AND OPINIONS:
There's a lot to take in when comparing these different services.
At Hooked on Movies, the most popular subscription service is MoviePass, because of the sheer volume of tickets allowed to the user. Many people don't mind sacrificing the ability to see a movie twice, or more than one in one day, to get affordable access to practically unlimited screenings every year.
The least popular subscription service we've seen is Cinemark Movie Club, because it does not work like the rest of the subscription services. Instead of paying a flat monthly fee, you are paying a discounted price for every movie. Unless you are only seeing one movie a month and don't mind only going to Cinemarks, this is probably not the best pick.