MoviePass Acquires Indie Crime Drama ‘American Animals’

Subscription theatrical ticket service MoviePass acquired the rights (with The Orchard) to art crime drama, American Animals, for $3 million at the Sundance Film Festival.

The acquisition was done through MoviePass Ventures, the upstart subsidiary launched at Sundance to co-acquire movies and distribute through multiple channels, including packaged media, on-demand and streaming.

“I made this film to be watched in theaters and the fact that this incredibly impressive partnership and this innovative deal put so much emphasis on that is hugely exciting,” Animals director Bart Layton (“The Imposter”) told IndieWire.com.

With more than 1.5 million subscribers, MoviePass continues on an aggressive push to disrupt the theatrical ticketing ecosystem with a subscription-based business model. Media reports suggest the service could reach 3 million subs by April.

MoviePass just issued a regulatory offer for $400 million in future funding, and reportedly dropped select AMC Theatres in an effort to obtain better fiscal terms, including revenue sharing.

Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter believes the service – which pays exhibitors full price for tickets purchased – needs at least 2 million (infrequent moviegoers) subs to break even.

Pachter says MoviePass has rev-share agreements with most (about 1,000) indie theaters – a situation it would like to replicate with national chains.

That could be wishful thinking with AMC, whose CEO Adam Aron refuses to consider the concept.

“AMC has absolutely no intention, I repeat no intention, of sharing any – I repeat, any, of our admissions revenue or our concessions revenue with MoviePass,” Aron said on the most-recent fiscal call.

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