Any movie, any theater, whenever you want, for $10 a month.
At one point, that was a sales pitch from subscription service MoviePass and millions signed up.
If that all sounds too good to be true, that’s because it was. The company burned millions of dollars and went bankrupt in 2020. But now it’s back, and CEO and co-founder Stacy Spikes says this time will be different.
What has changed?
For starters, there is a tiered pricing system this time around and credits will be involved.
Prices vary a bit depending on location, but generally the prices are $10, $20, and $30. Each prize comes with credits to use for movies each month.
“And so, if I only want to go on Friday night of the opening weekend, I’m probably going to use the maximum amount of credits, if you think about peak and off-peak times,” Spikes said. “But let’s just say I have no problem seeing that movie a few days later on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday night. I can use a lot less credit because the cinemas are open more for a lower price.” .”
Won’t MoviePass just lose money again?
Spikes says the company has also changed its business model.
Part of the reason the old MoviePass failed was because it paid full price for the tickets it offered its subscribers, he said. This time, MoviePass has made deals with theaters.
“Even before launch, we’ve partnered with over 25% of all theaters. If you take out AMC, Regal and Cinemark, we’ve got 40% market share outside the big three,” he said.
Don’t those big theaters have their own subscription services?
Yes, some do. Spikes counts on MoviePass subscribers who want to switch up their cinema visits.
“What we’ve found is that consumers tend to go to three to four different movie theaters over the course of a year,” he said. “So you have your summer blockbuster theaters. You have your arthouse theaters. And so what we found is that moviegoers like variety.”
He said that if people live somewhere where there’s only an AMC or Regal theater, they won’t subscribe to MoviePass. “But if you want the freedom to go wherever you want and find the same value, then you want something like MoviePass.”
Do people have the money?
Movie attendance fell during the coronavirus pandemic as people avoided indoor gatherings, and numbers aren’t quite back to pre-pandemic levels as many feel the cost of living and high inflation.
Still, Spikes is confident that people will come.
“People love to escape. It’s still the cheapest form of entertainment out there,” he said. “Going to a sporting event or to a Broadway play or to the opera is still a $100 plus ticket. So we think it’s a great time to start over.”
When will it start?
MoviePass is asking people to sign up for the waiting list on its website, which will be open until August 29 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time.
Once the waitlist closes, MoviePass will roll out in waves across the U.S., beginning “on or about” September 5, according to the company’s website, with locations based on waitlist engagement at each location and the locations of collaborating theaters. .
According to Insider, about 463,000 people signed up in the first 24 hours. This included 30,000 logins in the first five minutes, causing the MoviePass server to crash.
Patrick Wood adapted this for the web.