Embattled movie subscription service MoviePass is currently limiting users to choosing between two films per day, in an attempt to stop burning cash. At this point, MoviePass has to be wondering what would have happened if only it hadn’t attempted to win over the masses by providing a price point that just wasn’t realistic. For the first six years of its existence – yes, MoviePass existed before 2017 – the service operated as an expensive boutique item catered to those willing to pay a premium for the ability to see as many movies as they wanted for one monthly fee.
Then last summer, MoviePass – led by CEO Mitch Lowe – decided to abruptly change their business model, going from charging between $30 and $50 per month in its earlier years to a rock bottom $9.95. That price might work for Netflix – and it quickly drew in millions of new MoviePass subscribers – but it just wasn’t sustainable financially, and it’s a wonder they even lasted this long afterward. For those unaware, MoviePass pays full price for each ticket customers purchase with their card, and when the average price of a single movie ticket in the U.S. is about the same as the monthly subscription fee, it’s not hard to see where the math goes very wrong there.
Related: A Timeline Of The MoviePass Meltdown
As far as users knew, despite the well-publicized fact that MoviePass was burning through money at an amazingly fast rate, there was no reason to believe the unlimited movie train would derail anytime soon. Of course, derail it did, beginning with a prolonged outage on the night of Thursday, July 26. It came out the next day that MoviePass had literally run out of money to buy customers’ tickets. Ever since the service has been spotty at best, and abysmal at worst for its users. Now, as confirmed by the New York Post, MoviePass has taken the drastic step of only allowing subscribers to pick from a selection of two movies on any given day. Tonight, those movies were Mission: Impossible – Fallout and Slender Man. It’s unclear what they’ll be by tomorrow night.
This new policy is MoviePass’ latest attempt to curb their financial losses until September 15, by which time all existing monthly subscribers will have been forcibly converted – the choices given are either to opt in to the new plan or cancel their accounts – to the company’s drastically different pricing model of $9.95 for up to 3 movies a month. While that’s still a bargain, going from unlimited movies to 3 is quite the drop, and has led many people to make declarations on various social media platforms about how they’ve chosen to switch to AMC’s new Stubs A-List service, which allows the user to see 3 movies per week for $20 per month.
While it remains to be seen whether or not MoviePass’ switch to the much more limited 3 movies a month model swings them around toward better financial fortunes – the math on that still doesn’t work out well for them – by the time September 15 rolls around, it’ll be surprising if they still have any subscribers left. The company’s inability to be open and honest with its users about its troubles – running out of money on July 26 was referred to by MoviePass as a “technical issue” – has earned them massive amounts of vitriol online. For better or worse though, the movie subscription genie is out of the bottle, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see more big theater chains go the way of AMC.
Source: New York Post