AMC Stubs A-List vs. Regal Unlimited: Which Movie Ticket Subscription Service Is Better?

AMC Stubs A-List vs Regal Unlimited featured image

AMC Stubs A-List vs. Regal Unlimited: Which Movie Ticket Subscription Service Is Better?

AMC and Regal are the two biggest movie theater chains in the United States. While AMC has nearly twice as many locations, the two are still far and away the most popular of the bunch. It only makes sense, then, that AMC and Regal would have competing movie ticket subscription services. However, this begs the question: Which service should you subscribe to, AMC Stubs A-List vs. Regal Unlimited? Let’s compare and contrast the two below, paying close attention to the ways in which they differ. In the end, we’ll be able to tell you which service you should choose.

AMC Stubs A-List vs. Regal Unlimited: Side-By-Side Comparison

FeatureAMC Stubs A-ListRegal Unlimited
First IntroducedJune 2018July 2019
Price Per Month$19.95-$24.95$18.99-$23.99
Convenience FeeNone$0.50 per ticket
Showings With Additional FeesFathom Events and other special event screeningsScreenX, 4DX, IMAX, RPX, 3D, VIP, Premium Seating
Concessions Discount10%10%
Free Birthday GiftLarge Popcorn and Drink ComboLarge Popcorn and Drink Combo
Early Access ScreeningsYesYes
Ticket Limits3 ticket limit per weekUnlimited
Reservation Limits3 with no blackout dates3 with no blackout dates
Plans for Couples?No, separate plans requiredNo, separate plans required
Number of TheatersAround 950More than 500

AMC Stubs A-List vs. Regal Unlimited: Key Differences

While the above specifications do a great job outlining the number of ways AMC Stubs A-List vs. Regal Unlimited differ, they don’t do the best job explaining what these differences mean. For this reason, we should spend some time breaking down some of the most pressing key differences between these two movie ticket subscription services. How do the two stack up against one another in terms of subscription pricing? Or additional fees? What about the number of tickets subscribers can have per month? Let’s take a look at these four key differences below.

Price Per Month

Firstly, there’s the total price per month for AMC Stubs A-List vs. Regal Unlimited. How much is each movie ticket subscription service going to cost a hypothetical subscriber per month? AMC Stubs A-List pricing comes in three tiers and starts at $19.95 for 35 of the 50 states in the U.S. However, most will pay $22.95 for the middle tier, which covers 45 states. The top tier costs $24.95 and covers all 50 states. Regal Unlimited, by comparison, costs anywhere from $18.99 to $23.99 for its three regional tiers. All in all, Regal has the lower prices.

rpx vs imax
Regal Unlimited costs are slightly cheaper, but there is a convenience fee for each ticket you reserve.


Added Fees

Secondly, we should consider the additional fees tied to AMC Stubs A-List vs. Regal Unlimited. This goes hand in hand with the previous discussion of monthly costs. While you could say Regal Unlimited has the cheaper monthly cost, they also charge you convenience fees for each ticket reserved. AMC doesn’t. The only additional fees tied to AMC Stubs A-List are the fees associated with special Fathom Events or other exclusive presentations outside of the new release calendar. This certainly adds some perspective, as it seems AMC has a higher monthly price but fewer additional fees.

Number of Tickets

Thirdly, let’s consider the number of tickets you get as a subscriber to AMC Stubs A-List vs. Regal Unlimited. Stubs A-List gives you three tickets a week and allows you to make up to three reservations at any one time with no blackout dates. Regal Unlimited gives you as many tickets as you want per week, with the only restriction being no overlapping showtimes. Additionally, you can make as many as three reservations at any one time with no blackout dates, either. Regal Unlimited obviously has the edge here, even with those convenience fees.

Number of Locations

Lastly, let’s account for the number of locations per theater chain. No matter how great the movie ticket subscription service may seem, you’re ultimately going to have to abide by whichever one is closer or more accessible to you. With this in mind, AMC has nearly two times the number of locations as Regal. They’re sitting at 950 theaters, while Regal has around 500. Their numbers are closer when you look at the total number of screens across those locations: AMC has 7,850, while Regal has 6,851. AMC is still ahead, but it’s a closer call.

The History of AMC Stubs A-List

At the height of MoviePass’s popularity, AMC Theatres leaped at the opportunity to create a chain-exclusive movie ticket subscription service. With this, AMC Stubs A-List was born. Officially launched in June of 2018, the new subscription service lets subscribers see up to three movies a week — regardless of its format — for a relatively low monthly fee of $19.95. 3D, IMAX, standard… it didn’t matter. All of it was free. This was a significant departure from traditional movie theater pricing, where customers pay around $15-20 per movie.

While AMC Stubs A-List is turning five years old this summer, it’s not to be confused with the decade-old Stubs loyalty program that has been in place at AMC Theatres since 2011. Stubs by themselves still exist and are free to join. Naturally, A-List members continue to earn Stubs points even with their paid subscriptions. (Stubs offers excellent perks such as free popcorn, soda, and movie tickets, frequent $5 rewards bonuses added to users’ accounts, and exclusive early access to tickets for popular movies and other new releases.)

Despite some griping from naysayers concerning monthly costs and the three-film limit, AMC Stubs A-List was an instant hit. In addition to the ability to see three free movies a week in any format, the service also offers perks like reserved seating anywhere in the auditorium, free upgrades on popcorn and soda, and no online ticketing fees. By the end of 2018, the movie ticket subscription service had amassed more than 600,000 subscribers. By 2019, A-List had surpassed 900,000 members and had generated more than $450 million in revenue since its launch.

AMC Dolby Movie Theater exterior of building
AMC Stubs A-List offers three tickets a week and allows up to three reservations at any one time.


How Regal Unlimited Differs

The other side of the AMC Stubs A-List vs. Regal Unlimited debate? Regal Cinemas and their movie ticket subscription service. Launched by the popular chain in 2019 — around a year after AMC Stubs A-List went live — Regal Unlimited is structured very similarly to its closest competitor. You pay a monthly fee, they give you free movie tickets. However, Regal Unlimited is true to its name: There’s no limit to the number of movie tickets subscribers get each month. (Forget AMC’s three-film limit, right?) So long as your showtimes don’t overlap, you could do a month-long movie marathon for one low price.

Also like AMC Stubs A-List, Regal Unlimited offers three different subscription plans that vary in price and benefits depending on your region in the United States. The basic plan allows members to see movies at any Regal theater, but higher-tier plans offer additional perks like access to premium formats and discounts on concessions. By 2020, Regal claimed their service had surpassed a million subscribers in total. While this number (and AMC Stubs A-List’s, for that matter) undoubtedly took a hit in the wake of the pandemic, Regal Unlimited is nevertheless a massive success for the chain.

The same criticisms lobbed at AMC Stubs A-List were similarly tossed at Regal Unlimited. Pricing, convenience fees, additional costs for special formats such as IMAX or 3D… regardless, Regal Unlimited is a vital component of Regal’s business model today. The chain’s parent company Cineworld Group is facing financial struggles, and without the revenue from Regal Unlimited, who knows what kind of trouble they’d be in. It remains to be seen whether or not Cineworld will emerge victorious from Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, but hopefully Regal Unlimited keeps them on stable footing.

AMC Stubs A-List vs. Regal Unlimited: 5 Must-Know Facts About Movie-Going

  • The average ticket price doubled between 1995 and 2021, rising from $4.50 to $9. Movie ticket subscription services offer a nice relief for people who find the cost of movie-going has gotten too expensive. Most of these subscription services pay for themselves after just two or three movies a month.
  • AMC Stubs A-List vs. Regal Unlimited are not the only two movie ticket subscription services around. Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas offers Alamo Season Pass, Cinemark has their Movie Club, Showcase Cinemas has their Subscribe Movie Membership, Megaplex has the Megapass, and even MoviePass has made a comeback in recent months.
  • Despite the rising cost of movie theater tickets, many people are still willing to pay for the experience of seeing a movie on the big screen. In 2019, the global box office revenue reached a record high of $42.5 billion, indicating that there is still a strong demand for movies in theaters. This number plummeted in 2020 as a result of the pandemic but is on the rise again.
  • The success of AMC Stubs A-List vs. Regal Unlimited proves that streaming services and other global factors are not going to result in the death of movie theaters. In fact, according to a 2021 survey, nearly 70% of Gen Z and Millennials alike have said they plan to continue to see movies in theaters as much as they did before the pandemic.
  • In response to changing market trends, movie theaters like AMC and Regal have been experimenting with new technologies and services to attract audiences. Many have started offering luxury amenities such as recliner seats, gourmet food, and alcohol. Others have partnered with streaming services to show exclusive films and programs in theaters.

AMC Stubs A-List vs. Regal Unlimited: Pros and Cons

Pros of AMC Stubs A-ListCons of AMC Stubs A-List
10% discount on concessionsYou only get three tickets each week
Free size upgrades on popcorn and sodaNo plans available for two people
No fees for booking tickets or IMAX or 3DMore expensive than Regal Unlimited
The most theaters nationwide of any chainAdvance ticket purchases max out at three
Pros of Regal UnlimitedCons of Regal Unlimited
More affordable base price than Stubs A-ListRegal parent company is bankrupt
Unlimited ticketsAdditional fees for special formats
Second biggest theater chain in the U.S.Not as many locations as AMC
Standard convenience fee is reducedNo plans for couples or pairs

AMC Stubs A-List vs. Regal Unlimited: Which Is Best?

So, are we able to declare a winner yet? Between AMC Stubs A-List vs. Regal Unlimited, which movie ticket subscription service is best? Truthfully, it’s an incredibly close call. Both have a number of major advantages in their favor, but each one has a number of disadvantages on top of that. In the end, the winner has to be AMC Stubs A-List. With no convenience fees and no additional charges for IMAX or 3D, AMC deserves to take the cake. Sure, you only get three movie tickets a week, but that’s more than enough for a vast majority of moviegoers.

AMC Stubs A-List vs Regal Unlimited infographic

AMC Stubs A-List vs. Regal Unlimited: Which Movie Ticket Subscription Service Is Better? FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How many movies a month can you see with AMC Stubs A-List?

With three movies a week refreshing every Friday, you’re able to see anywhere from 12 to 15 movies a month (depending on the number of Fridays in a given month). When you think about the kind of savings you’re getting with a subscription like this, it definitely seems worth it: For less than $25 a month, you’re getting around $120 to $150 in movie tickets. That’s not even including the more expensive IMAX or 3D films included in the subscription.

How many movies a month can you see with Regal Unlimited?

True to its name, there’s no limit to the number of movies a person can see with a Regal Unlimited subscription. The only real restriction is that your showtimes cannot overlap, meaning you couldn’t watch an hour of one movie and then get a ticket for another movie in the middle of the current one. Beyond this, there’s no end to the number of movies you can see with your subscription.

Does AMC Stubs A-List charge you a convenience fee?

There’s no convenience fee when using AMC Stubs A-List. Reserving movies tickets costs you absolutely nothing. Beyond this, you don’t have to pay any extra to see movies in IMAX or 3D, either. These are two of the most appealing advantages to AMC Stubs A-List over other rival movie ticket subscription services that charge you fees and make you pay extra for specialty formats.

Why does Regal Unlimited charge a convenience fee?

Convenience fees are one of those necessary evils for online ticketing. Everyone from Ticketmaster to your local movie theater charges them because it’s a way for them to cover the various costs and fees associated with running a business. Regal (and, by extension, Regal Unlimited) is no different. However, the convenience fee charged to Regal Unlimited subscribers is discounted compared to the one the average joe would pay with no subscription.

Is Regal going bankrupt?

While there’s still no definitive word about the future of Regal Cinemas parent company Cineworld and their Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in September of 2022, it’s not likely to see every last Regal location close nationwide. Some will certainly close, though. As of late, the plan is for about 40 theaters to close nationwide. Expect to see more changes as the company and its parent try to make it out the other side in one piece.

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