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Development: AMC MoviePass alternative hits 600k members; Mattel loses DC deal; Netflix users warned of scam

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Dec 27, 2018, 1:10 PM EST

The death of MoviePass hasn’t just been a fascinating fireball to ogle, but a learning opportunity for several rivals springing up to replace the mishandled moviegoing service. One of these is AMC, which started its Stubs A-List program earlier this year. And after passing its year-end subscriber goal back in November, the ticket subscription service has accumulated another boatload of film fans as we head to 2019.

According to a release, AMC has added more than 600,000 members to the service after just six months of availability. With a solid business structure in place thanks to the established theater chain’s ability to offer perks on all sides of the moviegoing process, the A-List seems to be the leading program offering multiple movies per week for frequent filmgoers.

With a rewards program, concession perks (free soda and popcorn upgrades), flexible scheduling options, and a wide variety of film types to view (IMAX, etc), the only thing that could keep it from continued success seems to be the movies themselves. Offering up only specific releases was one of the factors dooming MoviePass, but as the A-List’s membership continues to grow, it seems its ranks are more than happy with the marquee on offer.

In a pop culture idiom where superheroes reign supreme over TV, movies, and, of course, comics, holding the toy rights to these empowered figures is a lucrative position. Which means losing those rights is a major blow to a company’s business. That’s what happened to Mattel, as the Los Angeles Times reports that the company’s stock took a hit after losing the licensing rights for some of its DC roster.

Spin Master Corp. is taking over from Mattel in the “boys’ action category, remote control and robotic vehicles, water toys, and games and puzzles.” Taking the outdated gendering of toys into consideration, that translates to a huge portion of the superhero toy market, since most of these heroes (especially on screen) are male and marketed to that demographic. Mattel maintained its rights over some preschool and girls’ toys, but Warner Bros. has locked down a three-year global agreement with Spin Master that starts up in the spring of 2020.

The change in company could stem from a recent decrease in sales through Mattel, which recently reported declining revenue in its DC Comics-based toys; Mattel stocks have dropped almost 40% in 2018. After missing sales estimates and weathering the death of brick-and-mortar toy stores like Toys R’ Us, Mattel is looking for a lifeboat — which may come in the form of new and exciting properties to license, like those of Disney’s Marvel and Star Wars. Hasbro’s license on them ends in 2020, plenty of time to put a compelling case together.

Finally, Netflix users beware. The FTC recently warned subscribers to the streaming service about a rash of scammers looking to phish payment information from several companies' customers, Netflix included.

An example given showed an e-mail claiming to be from Netflix which asked the user to update the payment method listed on their account because there was "trouble with your current billing method." Verifying an e-mail's source is who it says it is — by looking for telltale signs like the official e-mail address or an over-zealous request for personal information — can keep your info and cash safe this holiday.