Regal Unveils Bold Unlimited Movie Ticket Subscription Plan

Regal Cinemas Generic - Getty - H 2019
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Customers paying $18 to $23.50 a month can see as many films as they want, depending upon their location.

Regal Cinemas has finally unveiled its monthly subscription plan, and it is the most aggressive offering yet among the top three circuits in the U.S.

Patrons willing to shell out $18 to $23.50 per month, along with a 12-month commitment, can view as many movies as they want on a standard format screen. The bigger the city, the more expensive it will be, such as in Los Angeles and New York.

Those paying $18 will have access to 200 of Regal's 564-plus locations across the country that are in smaller markets. For entry to the second tier, or 400 cinemas, patrons will pay $21. Those paying $23.50 can go to any Regal theater, including L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles and the popular Union Square multiplex in Manhattan.

Regal Unlimited is expected to be officially announced in the coming days. The details of the yet-to-be-launched service were posted Wednesday on the circuit's website, including additional perks, such as a 10 percent discount on concessions and free birthday popcorn.

For a surcharge, a member of Regal Unlimited falling into the first two tiers can gain access to all locations. And any customer of the plan can also pay a surcharge to see a movie in a premium format or in 3D.

One no-no: Members can't see two movies that overlap.

Theater chains started embracing monthly subscription plans after the meteoric rise (and spectacular fall) of MoviePass, which, at one point, let its customers see one movie a day for $10 a month. Box office revenue in North America hit an all-time high of $11.9 billion in 2018, only to decline this year so far, prompting renewed concern over the price of going to the movies.

AMC Theatres, the largest U.S. chain, allows moviegoers to see three films a week for $20 to $24 a month, depending upon the location. Its program has amassed more than 800,000 members since launching last year. For $10 a month, Cinemark, the third-biggest chain behind AMC and Regal, offers one free ticket per month and discounts on concessions, among other perks.

Like Regal, the upscale Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain is being more aggressive. Its monthly subscription plan, now in the beta phase, will allow customers to see one film a day. The price point has yet to be announced.