Sometimes, what seems like a fantastic idea in theory doesn’t always work out in reality. Is MoviePass having to learn that hard lesson?
When MoviePass gained massive popularity last year, it seemed like a brilliant idea: see as many movies as you want a month and only pay $10. With movie theater prices being what they are nowadays, who wouldn’t love that?
While much of the movie-going public loved it, the feeling did not seem to be reciprocated by the theater companies themselves. After all, even if subscription services are popular, the whole purpose is to make money. When questioned about how it would make money with the prices so low, MoviePass said that the company would do so by “collecting and selling data about the tastes and habits of consumers.”
In January of this year, 10 of the busiest AMC Theaters in the country were removed from MoviePass. AMC stated that this was a decision made by MoviePass. The app had been seeking a portion of admissions and concessions from AMC, given the foot traffic that they sent to the theaters. AMC stated, “AMC has absolutely no intention, I repeat no intention, of sharing any – I repeat, any, of our admissions revenue or our concessions revenue with MoviePass.”
In June, AMC announced its own service as an addition to their AMC Stubs loyalty program, AMC Stubs A-List. Under the plan, you could see up to three movies a week, with no blackouts, for only $19.95 a month.
On July 26th, MoviePass suffered an outage when it ran out of money. Parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics lent it $5 million to pay “merchant and fulfillment processors” and correct the service interruption. The company initially stated on Twitter that the issue was a “technical” issue with their card-based ticketing.
We are still experiencing technical issues with our card-based check-in process and we are diligently working to resolve the issue. In the interim e-ticketing is working. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience while we resolve this issue.
— MoviePass (@MoviePass) July 27, 2018
By the next day, MoviePass was once again fully functioning.
We are happy to report we have resolved the issues with card check-ins and our service has been restored. Please note some showtimes will not be available for check-in.
We thank you for your patience. You may read below for more information:https://t.co/2hpb6JXtpa
— MoviePass (@MoviePass) July 27, 2018
Several days later on July 31, MoviePass announced that it would be raising its prices to $14.95 a month. In addition, users will no longer able to see blockbusters with their MoviePass. A release by the company stated, “First run movies opening on 1,000+ screens will be limited” for two weeks, except for films made available on a promotional basis. When Mission Impossible: Fallout was released that weekend, it was completely unavailable on the app, as was this past weekend’s Christopher Robin. The company issued this letter to subscribers, outlining some of the changes, including “Showtimes that are offered through our service will vary from day to day, and every showtime may not be available. We encourage you to check the MoviePass app for showtimes before you leave for the theater.”
Today, MoviePass announced yet another change to their subscription fees, doing away with the $14.95 plan. They will be doing away with their movie-a-day plan for $9.95. As of August 15, the price will be the same, but now subscribers will only be able to see three movies a month. If you do see more than three movies a month, you can get discounts on tickets if you purchase them through the MoviePass app. The blockbuster blackouts will no longer apply.
For something that had such a meteoric rise, MoviePass has had quite the bumpy ride over the past year. Do you think it is doomed to fail, or have they finally righted the ship with this latest change in their subscription plan? Did you have an subscription and decide to cancel over the many changes and frustrations in using it? Or does the new subscription plan seem like it will now be worthwhile to use?