$10/Month MoviePass Lets You See a Movie Every Day. Enjoy it While You Can
How much does it cost to go to the movies where you live? Probably $10, maybe $13 for a regular old 2-D movie, right?
What if you could spend that much once a month to see as many movies as you want?
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, kids.
Movie ticket subscription service MoviePass, which once charged at least $30 per month for unlimited movie tickets, announced this week it would drop its rate to just $9.95 per month.
The shift comes shortly after MoviePass sold a majority stake to Helios and Matheson Analytics, a data firm that can crunch numbers up, down and sideways as MoviePass continues to conduct its experiment to boost theater attendance.
The trade-off for seeing unlimited movies for $10 per month? MoviePass will obviously collect data about your movie-viewing habits.
MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe, a former Netflix executive, told Bloomberg that movie theaters’ revenue struggle isn’t because of Netflix and other streaming services — it’s because of high-priced movie tickets.
His service promises “all major movies, all major theaters, no commitment,” with a network of more than 4,000 theaters. MoviePass users receive a debit-style card by mail that they use to purchase one same-day ticket at the theater per day.
AMC Wants to Block MoviePass. Will Other Theaters Follow?
AMC Theatres released a statement shortly after MoviePass’ announcement about its new pricing that said the move by a “small fringe player” is “not in the best interest of moviegoers, movie theatres or movie studios.”
AMC says its average ticket price is $9.33, and while it “is not opposed to subscription programs generally,” the company doesn’t understand how MoviePass expects to reimburse AMC for the full price of each ticket.
“AMC noted that it is not yet known how to turn lead into gold,” the release said. The company is discussing potential legal action to block MoviePass subscribers from using the service at AMC locations.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the average movie ticket price in the U.S. is $8.84.
Is MoviePass Doomed?
MoviePass sounds like it’s worth it for even the most casual of moviegoers. But enjoy it now because if AMC, the largest theater chain in the country, pulls out of MoviePass, the service may have a hard time staying afloat.
In the meantime, keep in mind that movie theaters make most of their money by charging increasingly high prices for snacks. You may only pay $10 per month to see unlimited movies, but if you pony up $10 at the concession stand each time you go for a small soda and a bag of M&Ms, you’ll be broke pretty quick.
If you’re not sure if it’s worth signing up for MoviePass, check out our list of 22 ways to save next time you’re craving that big-screen experience.
Lisa Rowan is a writer and producer at The Penny Hoarder.