AMC theater chain is bringing Hollywood blockbusters like 'The Lion King' to the living room

Key Points
  • Streaming video competition is intensifying with new offerings from Apple and Disney hitting an already crowded market dominated by Netflix.
  • The threat to the movie theater business has led AMC Theaters to launch its own on-demand film streaming service for the home.
Shoppers walk through the Easton Town Center Mall in Columbus, Ohio.
Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Images

AMC Entertainment Holdings, which runs the AMC Theaters chain, launched an on-demand streaming film service for the home on Tuesday.

AMC is making a bet that it can find success in the living room as new, heavily funded streaming services enter the market, such as Disney Plus and and Apple TV+. Disney's new streaming service released a majority of the content coming to the site via Twitter Monday.

While the streaming wars are an existential threat to the movie theater business, the AMC streaming service is not an exact competitor to the new Disney or Apple platform, or Netflix, in that it won't provide access to the films on the service as part of a all-inclusive plan. It is more like Apple, Amazon and Google film libraries for rent or purchase through apps such as Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video and Google Play.

It also has similarities to movie ticket company Fandango's FandangoNOW service, which allows users to buy and rent the newest releases.

AMC Theaters On Demand service is designed to build off the success of its AMC Stubs membership program, the service it launched after MoviePass — which recently shut down — found some early success signing up moviegoers for a subscription model.

Only AMC Stubs members in the United States will be able to rent or buy movies on AMC Theaters On Demand.

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Stubs offers multiple tiers of service, including a free loyalty program moviegoers can sign up for, and the premium service which offers three in-theater movies a month at $19.95, as well as discounts on concessions. Stub members will be able to choose from a selection of about 2,000 movies from every major Hollywood studio, including major 2019 summer blockbusters like Universal Studios' "Hobbs and Shaw," and Disney's "The Lion King."

AMC is offering a launch deal that would give users access to three free movies if their first purchase is a movie distributed by Lionsgate or Paramount Pictures.

Members will be able to rent movies for $3 to $5.99 and buy films starting at $9.99.

"With more than 20 million AMC Stubs households, and with our website and smartphone apps already being visited hundreds of millions of times annually by movie fans, AMC Theatres is in a unique position to promote specific movies with greater personalization than has ever been possible before," said Adam Aron, CEO and president of AMC Theaters in a statement. "Through the launch of AMC Theatres On Demand, we can reach movie lovers directly and make it easy for them to access films digitally."

Movies will come to the service as soon as they release digitally worldwide. AMC will be following the traditional theatrical window set by each studio for their movies.

The movies can be rented or purchased on AMCTheaters.com, The AMC Theaters mobile app, Roku and smart TVs.

Disclosure: CNBC's parent company NBC Universal is owned by Comcast, which also is the parent company to Universal Studios and has a stake in Fandango.