MoviePass officially resurrects in beta
The Future. MoviePass is back… but with a more responsible, sustainable, and money-conscious business model. This time around, a monthly subscription buys you credits toward movie tickets — making it more economical to go during weekdays at non-peak times. While that won’t work for everyone’s schedule, MoviePass could be a major help to theater chains looking to put butts in seats during showtimes with minimal attendance — the Expedia of going to the movies.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss
Insider reports that Stacy Spikes — the founder and original CEO of MoviePass — has brought the company back to life with a new strategy.
- The updated service will launch in Dallas, Kansas City, and Chicago on Labor Day, with more cities soon to follow in the coming months.
- After the waitlist launched last Thursday, 775,000 people signed up in just five days.
- When the service opens Monday, they’ll be able to choose between one of three plans:
- a $10/month “Basic” plan — 1 to 3 movies per month
- a $20/month “Standard” plan — 2 to 4 movies per month
- a $30/month “Pro” plan — 3 to 5 movies per month
The variance in how many movies users can watch per month is because the subscription fee goes toward credits to see a movie, not movie tickets. Tickets can cost more or less credits based on which day a user sees the film, what time the showing is at, and how many tickets have already been sold for that screening.
MoviePass will only support standard screenings, so tough luck to all the IMAX fans… for now.
It’s reasonable to be hesitant about MoviePass’ return.
- After the service was bought by Helios and Matheson Analytics in 2017, Spikes was immediately fired and the new investors set the price for $10 per month to see a movie every day.
- It was an unsustainable business model that, naturally, was used to its fullest potential. The whole thing crumbled when the money ran dry and the app no longer worked in September 2019.
- A year later, Helios and Matheson filed for bankruptcy.
But it proved that there was a hunger for a theatergoing-subscription model, especially since it led audiences to watch things other than blockbusters and increased concession sales. It even forced major chains like AMC and Regal to start their own programs.
Can MoviePass exist in the new world it created? Only time will tell.