Cinemark CEO Says MoviePass Is "Probably a Good Deal"

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But only for serial moviegoers, Mark Zoradi told an investors conference. For everyone else, there's Movie Club as a discounted movie ticket program.

Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi on Tuesday praised the upstart discounted movie ticket program MoviePass. But only if you're a serial moviegoer, he said.

"If you go to the movies multiple times a month, it's probably a good deal," Zoradi told the Deutsche Bank Media & Telecom Conference in Palm Beach, Florida, during a presentation that was webcast. But the head of the mega-theater circuit touted his own newly launched discounted movie ticket program, Movie Club, where members of the loyalty program can see one regular movie a month for $8.99, and receive a 20 percent discount on concessions, among other unique features.

"If you go to the movies, like most people go, five or six times a year, then having one (loyalty program) where there's a rollover and benefits, I think it's probably a little advantageous," Zoradi argued. U.S. exhibitors have debated whether to embrace or challenge MoviePass, and rival AMC Entertainment earlier questioned the business model where the third-party venture allows members to see unlimited movies for $9.95 a month, but then pays the difference to theater owners and Hollywood studios.

Zoradi said Cinemark has no plans to stop accepting MoviePass members into its theatres, in part because that traffic mirrors the subscriber take-up for Movie Club, which launched three months ago. Cinemark has so far signed up 120,000 Movie Club members. 

"That's way beyond our expectations. Now we're off to the races," Zoradi told the investor conference. The Movie Club benefits include the ability to reserve seats and buy tickets in advance with no online fees. Unused tickets will roll over for active members.

Additional tickets can be purchased for $8.99, while upgrades for 3D tickets and other premium formats will be available. "The goal was to increase attendance and to increase loyalty to our brand," Zoradi explained.