Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images

AMC is creating a VIP tier of its loyalty program, a subscription movie theater pass called AMC Stubs A-List, which will allow users to see three movies a week in AMC theaters for $20 a month, the company announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: The offering rivals that of MoviePass, a subscription movie service with longstanding tensions in negotiating pricing and theater distribution agreements with AMC.

The big picture: Tensions between AMC and MoviePass had gotten so bad that last year
that AMC said it would try to block MoviePass. MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe told Axios in an interview in January that MoviePass brought in 1 million tickets for AMC in December alone.

Details: Like MoviePass, the AMC subscription will let users see a certain number of films for a monthly flat fee, but will only be viewable in AMC theaters.

  • MoviePass lets subscribers see up to one movie per day in MoviePass-approved theater for $9.99 monthly. AMC's offering will let users see just three movies per week, or 12 films per month for $19.95 monthly.
  • The upside: users can see the three weekly movies on the same day if they wish, as long as there's a two-hour buffer between showings. They can use the pass to see movies in IMAX and 3D theaters, which MoviePass doesn’t offer.
  • They can also book tickets ahead of time, instead of reserving a seat but paying for the ticket at the movie theater before the show starts, which is what MoviePass offers.

MoviePass’ parent company has been under financial stress, as the viability of MoviePass’ business model is in question. The subscription movie service is growing quickly, and anticipates hitting 5 million paid subscribers by year’s end, but the margins on those subscribers are low, making profitability difficult without scale.

Go deeper: Theaters face a power struggle as digital takes over

Go deeper

Trump signs bill to prevent government shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel and President Trump arrives at the U.S. Capitol in March. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Trump signed a bill to extend current levels of government funding after funding expired briefly, White House spokesperson Judd Deere confirmed early Thursday.

Why it matters: The move averts a government shutdown before the Nov. 3 election. The Senate on Wednesday passed the legislation to fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 84-10.

Of note: While the previous measure lapse before Trump signed the bill, the Office of Management and Budget had instructed federal agencies "to not engage in orderly shutdown activities," a senior administration official told the New York Times, because of the OMB was confident the president would sign the measure on Thursday.

Editor's note: This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

Updated 38 mins ago - Science

In photos: Deadly wildfires devastate California's wine country

The Shady Fire ravages a home as it approaches Santa Rosa in Napa County, California, on Sept. 28. The blaze is part of the massive Glass Fire Complex, which has razed over 51,620 acres at 2% containment. Photo: Samuel Corum/Agence France-Presse/AFP via Getty Images

More than 1700 firefighters are battling 26 major blazes across California, including in the heart of the wine country, where one mega-blaze claimed the lives of three people and forced thousands of others to evacuate this week.

The big picture: More than 8,100 wildfires have burned across a record 39 million-plus acres, killing 29 people and razing almost 7,900 structures in California this year, per Cal Fire. Just like the deadly blazes of 2017, the wine country has become a wildfires epicenter. Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma, and Shasta counties.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 33,880,896 — Total deaths: 1,012,964 — Total recoveries: 23,551,663Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 7,232,823 — Total deaths: 206,887 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
  3. Education: School-aged children now make up 10% of all U.S COVID-19 cases.
  4. Health: Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine won't be ready until 2021
  5. Travel: CDC: 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like cases found on cruise ships in U.S. waters — Airlines begin mass layoffs while clinging to hope for federal aid
  6. Business: Real-time data show economy's rebound slowing but still going.
  7. Sports: Steelers-Titans NFL game delayed after coronavirus outbreak.

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