I’ve stated like a hundred billion times that I have a MoviePass and I love it, it’s an absolutely insane value for someone that goes to as many movies as I do. I also believe that unless something dramatic happens MoviePass will soon run out of money and cease to exist. The folks over at MoviePass also seem to believe this as they recently announced some upcoming changes to the service. Let’s go over them quickly because while most of this is nice and convenient there’s one that sticks out like a sore thumb to me.
I’ll start with what I like, bring-a-friend and a premium option for IMAX and 3D showings. The bring-a-friend option will allow MoviePass users to add another ticket when they use the MoviePass app and as I understand it has the additional ticket be charged to whatever payment method you use for the MoviePass. So, for example, say I’m on a date (It’s a reach, I’m aware.) and me and my date are gonna go see a movie, as it stands now when I go to the ticket stand I have to do two separate transactions. One to buy my ticket with MoviePass and then another to buy her ticket (Or another for her to buy her own ticket, its 2018 girls don’t need men buying their tickets for them.) With the bring-a-friend feature I can compact that all back down to one transaction so this to me is mostly a convenience thing and that’s nice. I don’t need MoviePass to pay for my dates, but it’d be nice if I wasn’t fumbling at the ticket office for 20 minutes just because I brought someone along with me.
Next up is a premium feature to allow MoviePass users to see IMAX and 3D showings using the service. It’s estimated that the premium feature will cost an extra 2-6 bucks a month (per this Business Insider article) and again that seems reasonable, I don’t care for 3D showings so as long as I can opt out and keep my 10 bucks a month plan it’s all good.
Now, this last one really rubs me the wrong way. “High-demand” pricing. Basically, users could be charged extra to see certain movies at certain times if MoviePass thinks it is going to be really popular. Again according to the same Business Insider article I mentioned earlier the extra charge could be as little as 2 bucks but could also go higher. It ain’t about the 2 bucks though you know? It’s the fact that this company has decided that the money they and their customers agreed to isn’t enough. It’s the very idea that this company can decide that even though you agreed to pay 10 bucks a month for this service that they can just charge me a little more to see the newest Marvel movie just because.
Screw that nonsense. Mitch Lowe (CEO of MoviePass) said that they were doing this to encourage people to go see movies on weekdays rather than crowding an opening weekend, which is really weak reasoning on it’s own, but also added that that it will help ensure, “…that we can continue to offer a valuable service and support the whole enterprise…” and that’s the real reason isn’t it? He knows his company is bleeding money left, right, and center so lets us just start charging extra for big movies because screw our customers am I right? It’s only about getting enough subscribers that we can start bullying the theatre chains and studios into giving them money in the end.
It’s not even that big of a deal in raw dollars, even if they charged me an extra 5 bucks to see Ant-Man 2 and Mission Impossible: Fallout in July I’m still going to get some crazy value from my MoviePass, but this just feels like I’m being done dirty, so it’s just aggravating. Oh well, we all knew this thing was too good to be true didn’t we? Something had to give. I still don’t think it’ll be enough to make the company sustainable, but AMC’s new subscription looks pretty good and actually somewhat sustainable. Later.