Once again, MoviePass has released another update to a membership agreement that has already seen several changes this summer, this time eliminating (albeit most likely temporarily) Ticket Verification and Peak Pricing.
The press release/membership notifications went out on Monday (8/13) with the following message:
Some exciting updates are coming on the first day of your next billing cycle.
Your new membership will include up to three standard movies a month for $9.95, and you will also be eligible for $2.00 to $5.00 off any additional movietickets purchased within the billing cycle. Discounts on additional tickets will be calculated by various factors including geography and the movie title. The remaining balance for the ticket will be charged to the credit card linked to your MoviePass account.
Wait what? But I thought…
Yeah…Exactly. Just a week or so ago it was released that MoviePass was heading to a $15.99 plan in order to get more cash and protect the promise of “a movie per day” membership. This jump in pricing, coupled with turbulent PR handling of rumors regarding financial instability (the most damning example of which was published this week by Business Insider, that MoviePass would out of business in the next 90 days) was not a good look.
Subsequently, members began jettisoning, seeing this as the prime opportunity to jump ship, meanwhile social media took to bashing MoviePass for basically blocking nearly all indie films, limited screening openings, certain high traffic openings and of course the requisite “You’ve already seen this film” listings. I myself on Sunday afternoon, after an exhausting weekend discussed with my wife possibly seeing a movie that night, only to notice there was pretty much nothing in our area showing that was available to us that didn’t include peak pricing which only adds fuel to the fire, burning through member patronage.
So when the update to the service agreement went out this week, it wasn’t at all surprising that MP would have to re-package their threat of raising the premium to stop the bleeding. For the slow people, it doesn’t mean the $15.99 isn’t coming, it just means the price you paid previously for a ticket a day, only pays for 3/month now. Undoubtedly, a higher premium is coming to give you more tickets per month, however what that will look like remains to be seen.
For the diehards, this probably won’t change much, as even the most frugal members of the subscription service (myself included) have been vocal in saying that they’d gladly be restricted to only a few free movies per month if it meant they could see anything they wanted (with the exception of IMAX and 3D within reason). But this for sure marks a moment in the decline of the “a movie per day’ promise previously given from MoviePass to the public.
While, the release went on to exclaim the halt of peak pricing and that pesky ticket verification (which can be faked by the way lol), the damage is done and the trust is gone at this point. So MoviePass…Just give us our meager 2 free movies per month (as 9.95 basically precharges us for one) and hope we don’t jump ship to your competitors.
Speaking of which, here our a couple of alternatives in case MP crashes this weekend lol (fiscally, software or otherwise):
OUR TOP PICK: AMC STUBBS A-LIST
- 3 Tickets Per Week
- AMC Stubs Premiere membership – which can help with concessions down the line
- Great if you live near AMC’s, worthless if you don’t
- While the Price is $19.99 (over 2x that of MP) it’s sustainable, from a reputable outlet that will no doubt set the trend if MP goes under resulting in a SAMs/COSTCO-esque trend for movie goers. I personally hope Regal goes this way – which is VERY likely due to Cinemark to having one already leaving Regal the last major chain not in on the ground floor.
- Also, like MP and WWE Network did originally, requires a longer commitment to start. In AMC’s case, they want you committed for 90 days. And don’t expect any add-on options for friends and family. Likewise, while you get a Stubbs membership, no points for tickets booked through the service, so the player way is to try to get your friends and family to use your membership so you all can pool points for free popcorn and drinks.
- You also get some support for IMAX an 3D but not free so…meh
- This service was not at all a good option while MoviePass offered essentially 28-31 movie showings per member, per month. but now – Sinemia’s 2/month for $7.99 option is very viable.
- If you are a more casual movie-goer, there’s a $3.99 for 1 ticket option.
- The only service remaining (at the time of this article) still offering multiple viewings of the same film (albeit not in the same day).
- the problem with this service, while they seem to be looking toward the long game (vs MoviePass looking to be a flash in the pan), their subscription model looks at times like a mess. Pricing fluctutates, so tread carefully.
- The BIG NO for me: annual billing…no explanation necessary but it’s why it’s not our first choice.