Even Though MoviePass Can’t Seem to Get it Together, You Should Still Sign Up.
Let’s kick things off with a statistic, shall we. The average MoviePass subscriber sees about 1.5 movies per month. Now that number doesn’t seem significant to most people, but to the makers of MoviePass—that point five is their Achilles’ heel. (Information sourced from video)
MoviePass has been around since 2011, but didn’t become popular until August 2017 after restructuring its subscription model to $9.95/month. Early adopters and beta testers have seen myriad changes in pricing, app interface and theater offerings. And this is where some of the distrust comes into play. Since the company has gone through so many ups and downs, people are leery about MoviePass being a viable business. Even after all the negative press and restructuring, we think it’s still the best deal.
Currently, MoviePass allows its subscribers to see one movie per day in theaters for $9.95/month. The catch? You can’t see a movie more than once; you have to be 100 yards from the theater to book the ticket; and during surge times, you might be hit with an extra fee. This “peak pricing” feature is MoviePass’s latest attempt to gain back some of the money it’s losing. Surge pricing ranges from $2 to $6 all dependent on the popularity of the movie and its showtimes.
According to the FAQ section on MoviePass’s website, a red lightning icon indicates peak pricing and there will be an added charge. There’s also a grey lightning icon which indicates that a certain showtime doesn’t have an added charge yet—but demand is growing and there could enter peak pricing. To appease these unpalatable changes, MoviePass will soon deploy a new feature allowing subscribers to waive one peak fee per month.
MoviePass plans to roll out another feature with hopes of converting new subscribers. “Bring a Guest” will soon allow existing members to purchase a full-priced ticket through the app for a friend and reserve seating together if the particular theater has assigned seating.
But what’s the biggest change that MoviePass is championing? Moviegoers’ habits.
According to the National Research Group for The Hollywood Reporter, 83 percent of MoviePass patrons are more satisfied with MoviePass than any other subscription service and seeing movies more frequently than before. On average, subscribers have taken six more trips to the movies in the past six months than nonsubscribers. And nearly half of MoviePass customers say they are now willing to take a trip to the theater alone and 42 percent happily go midweek.
Now, moviegoers don’t need to wait for certain weekday discounts or matinee prices to ease the cost of the sky-high ticket prices. Those prices, by the way, can cost up to $18 depending on where you live. Currently, the national average for a movie ticket is $9.16.
MoviePass subscribers are also becoming more spontaneous with their movie choices. In fact, 49 percent say they are seeing movies they would not normally watch and 35 percent strongly agree they’re more likely to see a movie despite a low Rotten Tomatoes score. (Percentages from the NRG poll).
The change in behavior will be a slow turn in the other direction for cinema as a whole. Last year, Hollywood had its worse summer box office attendance in 25 years. But with companies like MoviePass footing the bill for people to see bad movies without guilt, it might help move the needle (to some extent). If the saying “You have to spend money to make money” is true, than MoviePass can hopefully become profitable once it surpasses its 5 million subscriber projections by the end of 2018. Or at least break even at some point.
Even MORE Changes
Because MoviePass offers low prices to keep its subscriber base happy, the company is forced to find other ways to make money. How can MoviePass become profitable? Well, Helios and Matheson Analytics (parent company), thinks buying the film library and production slate from Emmett Furla Oasis Films (EFO) will do just the trick. EFO Films include Lone Survivor, Rambo, The Amityville Horror, and many others.
It seems like the ultimate goal MoviePass is trying to accomplish is marketing to and, therefore, profiting off of its subscriber base. What’s the cost to you? As of right now, $9.95 and your user data (which the company says they haven’t sold). For now, this is one of the best deals for people who enjoy going to the movies, but can’t justify paying regular ticket prices. Despite the shaky corporate structure and falling stock prices (currently 19 cents per share), it’s apparent that MoviePass is still worth subscribing to.
We want to know, are you a movie pass subscriber?