SALT LAKE CITY — There has been lots of uncertainty surrounding the movie subscription service MoviePass over the last several weeks.
The company had an outage last week when “Mission: Impossible — Fallout” opened because it had no money to pay for tickets. Following that debacle, the company has announced several policy changes.
When MoviePass broke onto the movie-watching scene last year, it seemed revolutionary and incomparable. Now, though, there are several companies that offer similar subscription services.
Here are three of the best alternatives to MoviePass and how they compare to it.
Cost: $19.95 per month
In terms of pure value, AMC Stubs A-List is probably the most comparable to MoviePass — if you live in an area with AMC theaters.
If you live in one of those areas, or if you don’t mind some extra driving to get to the theater, AMC Stubs A-List is a viable option.
For $19.95 a month, you get three movie tickets a week, including IMAX, Dolby Cinema, RealD 3-D, digital and more formats, according to the service’s website.
There are no blackout dates for the tickets, and you can watch them whenever you want. You could do a triple-feature and watch three movies in one day if you choose. You can also watch the same movie more than once.
There are no family plans offered with AMC Stubs A-List, and you must commit to at least three months when you sign up for the service.
A-List comes with the perks that are offered with every level of AMC Stubs, including a rewards program and a free large popcorn refill. However, you don’t get rewards points for movie tickets you booked through A-List.
Cost: $8.99 per month
Cinemark’s movie subscription plan is affordable, but it doesn’t get you as much as some of the other offers listed here.
The Cinemark Movie Club gets you one ticket to a 2-D movie showing for $8.99 a month. If you don’t use a ticket within a month, it will roll over to next month and will never expire.
The service also gets you 20 percent off concessions, and you can share that benefit with a friend. You can purchase extra tickets on your plan for $8.99 per ticket, but you will have to pay upcharges if you go to a movie in a premium format, such as IMAX or 3-D.
You also never have to pay online fees with Cinemark Movie Club. You can also cancel your membership at any time, and any unused credits will still be available for six months.
Cost: $3.99-$14.99 per month (during current summer sale)
Sinemia offers a similar movie ticket subscription service with several levels to choose from.
In Sinemia’s $14.99-per-month “Elite” plan, you get three movie tickets, in any theater that’s eligible for the service, with no blackout dates.
You can also watch one “premium” movie as one of your three tickets at that subscription level. The premium movie formats include showings in IMAX, IMAX 3D, XD, Dolby Atmos, ScreenX, Dbox, and 4DX. However, you can only watch a premium movie once every 30 days.
In other words, if you purchased a premium ticket today with your Sinemia subscription, you’d have to wait 30 days from now before you could buy another premium ticket.
With the Sinemia “Elite” plan at the $9.99-per-month level, you get all the features described above, including premium tickets, but you only get two tickets per month.
Sinemia offers two other “Classic” pricing levels, with the features listed above excluding premium tickets. For $3.99 per month, you get one movie ticket each month, and $7.99 a month gets you two tickets.
One possible downside to Sinemia is that most tickets are offered through online ticket retailers such as Fandango. Your Sinemia subscription does not cover those convenience fees, so you will be on the hook to pay them yourself.
The pricing listed here is current under Sinemia’s ongoing summer sale, and is subject to change. Regular pricing varies from $12.99-$34.99 per month.
The service also offers family plans for up to six people, priced between $7.99 for one standard movie ticket a month for two people, up to $89.99 a month for three tickets a month for six people.
To start your subscription, you also must pay a one-time $19.99 “Club Membership Initiation” fee.
The company previously offered plans that were billed once annually, but has discontinued that in favor of month-to-month plans as of Aug. 3, according to Sinemia’s website.
What if I stick with MoviePass?
MoviePass has drastically changed its services over the past several weeks.
On Tuesday, CEO Mitch Lowe announced in a letter sent to subscribers that users of MoviePass will be blocked from seeing movies at certain showtimes. Availability for certain big-name new-release movies will also be limited.
MoviePass users are unable to see “Christopher Robin” as of Friday, and “Mission: Impossible — Fallout” is still unavailable to users as of Friday.
The company also will be raising its prices from $9.95 per month to $14.95 a month sometime in the next 30 days.
With MoviePass, you can’t see the same film more than once. You also may have to pay a “surge pricing” fee up to $6 for certain showtimes, especially on the weekends. Those provisions were announced over the last few months.
If you can look past all that, MoviePass still offers a fairly incomparable deal: one movie per day at almost any theater nationwide
Sticking with the company might be a gamble, though. As recent weeks have shown, the company’s service can be unreliable and policies are subject to change abruptly.
There’s also no telling how long the company will be around, as it is losing money rapidly.