UK MoviePass Copycat: Theater Chains Odeon, Vue, Cineworld Mystified


A company supposedly positioning itself as a UK equivalent to U.S. ticketing upstart MoviePass, has been met with wonder by the UK Cinema Association (UKCA), whose members include theater chains Odeon, Cineworld, Vue and Curzon — we’ve been told none of its members are signed up to the service.

professional-looking website, launched yesterday, touts an upcoming UK service called cPass, which the site says will be “the first UK and European cinema subscription service…For just £9.95 ($13.83) per month, our members can see one standard 2D film every day.”

The offer looks very similar to that of MoviePass, with customers registering for a card, with no contract required. They can then supposedly download an app (which is not currently available in Apple’s app store) to choose the movie they want to see. The site says they can then go to “any cinema” and “use cPass on arrival to get your free ticket.” Those who refer three friends will be able to “cut in line;” it claims.

Cinema chains listed on the site, which also has a Twitter and Facebook presence, include majors Odeon, Vue and Cineworld as well as arthouse stalwart Curzon. The site displays posters for movies including Black Panther, The Shape Of Water, Game Night, I, Tonya, Red Sparrow, Peter Rabbit and Ladybird.

But trade body UKCA told us, “I can confirm that none of our members are engaged with the company behind this initiative or actively supporting the proposed subscription scheme.” The group’s chief yesterday sent a communiqué – seen by Deadline – to members in which it says that legal options are being explored to get brand names removed from the site. “cPass is in the recruitment phase, building a subscriber base without any actual offer,” the letter states. The letter also says that the site is causing concern to a number of distributors.

The Film Distributors Association, whose members include all major UK distributors, told us it was not aware that any of its members had signed up for the service. One UK studio head whose films are displayed on the site told us that he had never heard of it.

According to one source the service was presented this week in London during an event for exhibitors. The company was not available for comment when contacted by us. While this could potentially have buy-in from a credit card service, what we do know is that it doesn’t seem to have any buy-in from any local cinemas or distributors. Neither does MoviePass have a UK presence. If it is legit it would be going up against more expensive ‘unlimited’ cinema passes already offered in the UK by Odeon and Cineworld.

In the U.S. MoviePass subscriptions are down to $7.95 per month as of February. This week company CEO Mitch Lowe bullishly predicted that by 2019 it would more than double its current subscriber base of 2 million.

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