STU: You can give your critique on the script too. The coauthor of American Assassin. Tomorrow, he joins us. The beginning of this hour on tomorrow's program. But one of the things that I love about movies and I have a new appreciation of them and can go to much more of them because of it is called this ridiculous movie called MoviePass.
GLENN: I don't -- there's something wrong here.
STU: It's ridiculous. There's something wrong. It's too good. When it's too good to be true, it means it's too good.
GLENN: Right. Mitch Lowe is here. He's the CEO of MoviePass.com. And, Mitch, I personally may put you out of business because I see too many movies. So...
MITCH: Hey, that's what we want. We want to reinvigorate the movie theater going. So we would love to see that.
GLENN: Okay. Honestly, I'll bankrupt you. I see almost every movie made, and I love to go to the movies. It is a pastime with me and my family. But we see probably a minimum of four movies a month. And under your service, I pay $10, even in New York where the ticket is $16, and I can go see any movie I want and I can see as many movies as I want, as long as it's not the same one over and over again, right?
MITCH: That's right. It's one a day. It's one a day.
GLENN: So how is that working for you? I'm trying to figure out the business model. How does that work?
MITCH: So here's the thing: Yes, there are about 11 percent -- 36 million people in the US and Canada that go to a lot of films every month. They go to roughly 18 films a year on average, and they buy half of all the movie tickets. But there's 51 percent of the population that go to less than a movie a month, and that's who primarily join our service. So, yes, everybody like yourself who goes to lots of movies joins. They get huge value, and they tell everybody about it. But the majority of our subscribers are people who go to three to six films a year prior to joining MoviePass. When they join, they double the amount of films they go, so now they're going to six to 12 movies a year.
So the majority of our subscribers roughly go to one a month. And then there's a small group of people who end up going five, ten times a month. And it drives up the average a little bit.
GLENN: Okay. So it's 9.95 a month. It used to be $50 a month.
MITCH: Yeah. Thirty to $50.
GLENN: How -- what happened to where you could drop it down that low?
MITCH: Well, what we found -- you know, when we were 30 to $50, we were really just appealing to the people -- that 11 percent who go a lot already. And we got them to go more often. But essentially, it was a -- at first a price point that only appealed to a small group of the public.
MITCH: And we realized that what we really needed to do was to reinvigorate especially millennials. Over the past five years, millennials have decreased their amount of times going to the theater by 20 percent. And the reason why is now they have all these other alternatives. In fact, they talk themselves to go out of the movies. They go, I don't know if it's good enough. I've already got Netflix or Hulu. I'll just wait and see it then.
And what we really -- these are people that grew up on subscription. And really, what are subscription services, it's insurance against a bad movie. Now we can go and experiment. And if they don't like it, they can walk out and trash it the next day to their friends.
GLENN: When you put this together -- because AMC doesn't like this.
GLENN: But I think the movie theater experience is just totally changing. I think the future is making me -- putting me into some sort of a cocoon where I never ever want to leave. And that's what's happening -- at least here in Texas, that's what's happening to movie theaters. Where great food -- they'll deliver anything.
GLENN: I'm guessing there's a few that would even deliver lap dances. I'm not sure. But they just never want you to leave. And I'm guessing, that's where they make their money. Not on the actual ticket.
MITCH: Yeah, that's right. Concessions are 80 percent margin. You know, when you buy that popcorn or soda, 80 percent. And when you buy a ticket, it's roughly 50 percent. So the theaters really want you in the theater.
And, by the way, when you join MoviePass, what happens, because you're not pulling out that 10-dollar bill to pay for a ticket, you spend more money on concessions, which is great for the theaters. And that's why AMC should love it.
GLENN: Why don't they?
MITCH: Well, you know, we had a two-year partnership with AMC. You know, we -- we both contributed to a blind data report that showed that we doubled people's frequency of going to the movies. Increased their consumption of concessions. And AMC, I believe, you know, came to the point where they said, "You know, we should just do this ourselves." And so I believe this is a little bit of sour grapes in seeing that kind of we beat them to the punch. And, you know, I know they will probably release their own subscription program soon.
STU: We're talking to Mitch Lowe of MoviePass.com.
Mitch, one of the criticisms I've seen from AMC and others is that you are preparing people to pay $10 a month for movies. And then when you go out of business in two years, everyone is going to think the old movie price is too high.
MITCH: Yeah. Well, you know, I was on the founding executive team at Netflix and the COO of Redbox, and that's exactly what Blockbuster said to Netflix and they said to consumers. Don't look at these little guys over here that are offering an innovative service. Keep paying us the high prices.
GLENN: Yea. Are you publicly traded now, Mitch? Is this publicly traded?
MITCH: We're 51 percent owned. The deal isn't closed yet. But shortly, we'll be majority owned by a public company. It's HMNY. Helios & Matheson. And they are -- the reason why we sold half the company to them, a little more than half, is they are a big data and analytics company. And what we want to build is this great experience around going to the movies. And we're building upon their foundation. Their technology. That will build a whole night at the movies experience.
GLENN: I'll tell you, I think this is why AMC is wrong on this.
I don't -- you know, AMC should do what AMC does well. And that is, give me a good movie experience. But I wouldn't want a subscription with AMC, because then I'm locked into just AMC. I mean, if you were a public --
GLENN: This might be the kiss of death: I would invest in your company because I think what the future is, is companies that say, "I just do this one piece. And I do it really, really well."
GLENN: And they just start linking pieces together, to make everybody's experience super easy.
MITCH: Yeah. You have to listen to consumers. And what typically happens to the dominant player is they lose touch with their consumers. And they spend more time trying to protect an old way of doing things, at the cost of offering, you know, new benefits to consumers. And that's -- that's exactly what, you know, startups can do, is where -- I absolutely love movies. I love them in every way. And, you know, I started with video stores 30 years ago. And I just love movies. And I know the artists -- the creative community makes movies for the that's right, for the big screen, the big sound. You know, laughing with other people around you. They don't make them for the mobile phone. And even though that's fun and a great opportunity, you know, it's really the theater --
GLENN: No, there's nothing better -- yeah, there's nothing better than the theater.
STU: And, Mitch, it is a -- any theater you want to go to -- I think a lot of people would think, oh, well, I have to find one of these theaters. It's literally any theater -- you basically have what is a debit card almost.
MITCH: Yeah. It's -- it's over 90 percent of all the theaters.
So there are some theaters -- you know, some drive-ins and some places that only take cash that you can't use it.
GLENN: Can you still use it at AMC? Can you still use it at AMC?
MITCH: Absolutely. You can still use it at AMC.
STU: And I don't know, Mitch, if you do radio-based customer service, but I have not received my card yet. I've just been using the app. So we really need to work that out.
MITCH: Well, we absolutely underestimated demand. And we were not prepared for the amount of new subscribers we had. We're still catching up. You know, on those first couple days, we were the third most searched word on Google after Charlottesville and Korea. And we continued to get thousands and thousands of new subscribers every day. And we're catching up fast. But you'll get yours soon. And I apologize. Your first month does not start until you get your card. So even though we charged you in advance, the month doesn't begin until you get your card.
STU: That's awesome.
MITCH: And I'm extremely sorry and I apologize.
STU: We're rooting for you. This is really cool.
GLENN: We are. Mitch, thanks a lot. Mitch Lowe. He's the CEO of MoviePass.com. That's MoviePass.com. I will be a member by the end of the day.