MoviePass Rival Sinemia Ceases Operations

Sinemia, the MoviePass competitor offering subscribers access to theatrical screenings for a $4.99 monthly fee, has ceased operations about a year after launching.

The Los Angeles-based service had attempted to piggyback on the initial success of MoviePass affording subscribers daily access to a theatrical screening for flat $9.95 monthly fee.

“Today, with a heavy heart, we’re announcing that Sinemia is closing its doors and ending operations in the U.S. effective immediately,” the service wrote April 25 on its website.

Launched by Turkish native Rifat Oguz, Sinemia sought to circumvent loss-leader pricing through up-front annual billing with revenue sharing with exhibitors.

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The service offered a two-ticket plan priced at $6.99 monthly (also billed annually); $9.99 for two tickets, including 3D, 4D and Imax formats; and $14.99 for three tickets, including 3D, 4D, Imax formats.

The strategy differed from MoviePass, which has attempted to circumvent exhibitors through a populous approach — with disastrous fiscal results.

The service’s parent, Helios Matheson Analytics, had its stock delisted by Nasdaq after investors fled MoviePass following tens of millions of dollars in quarterly losses due to an unsustainable business model, uncooperative exhibitors and frequent user policy changes, among other issues.

MoviePass reportedly has little more than 200,000 subscribers after once topping 3 million.

Meanwhile, AMC Theatres, the nation’s largest exhibitor, launched its own subscription service, AMC Stubs A-List, which earlier this year reached 700,000 subs paying $20 monthly fee.

Sinemia alluded to A-List for its decision to shut down.

“We are all witnessing that the future of moviegoing is evolving through movie ticket subscriptions,” Sinemia said. “However, we didn’t see a path to sustainability as an independent movie ticket subscription service in the face of competition from movie theaters as they build their own subscriptions. Thanks to the cost advantage and cross-sell opportunities, movie theaters will be prominent in the movie ticket subscription economy.”

Sinemia Offering $4.99 Movie Ticket Subscription

Upstart Sinemia has begun offering a $4.99 monthly (billed annually) movie ticket subscription plan enabling members one theatrical screening per month – half the price of rival MoviePass.

Los Angeles-based Sinemia, founded by Turkish native Rifat Oguz, offers a two-ticket plan priced at $6.99 monthly (also billed annually); $9.99 for two tickets, including 3D, 4D and Imax formats; and $14.99 for three tickets, including 3D, 4D, Imax formats.

The privately-held service claims to offer tickets to all movies and major theater chains, including advanced ticketing and seat selection. The Sinemia app also includes restaurant deals and location-based recommendations.

“Our vision and goal has been to create a movie ticket subscription service that adds value for both for moviegoers and the movie industry. We believe the only way to accomplish this is through a sustainable movie subscription model,” Oguz said in a statement.

It isn’t immediately clear how Sinemia plans to absorb the actual cost of tickets used by subscribers that it must reimburse at full value to theater operators. Publicly-traded MoviePass has more than two million subscribers; yet is losing money on the subscription business model.

“Since 2014, we’ve been fine-tuning our model and are now the leading movie subscription service in the Canada, U.K., Turkey, and Australia,” Oguz said. “Thanks to our global experience, we’ve created a sustainable model and are very excited to bring a new slate of affordable and flexible subscription plans to moviegoers.”