The MoviePass deal of a movie at a day for a ten-spot a month, a bargain good at 91 percent of the theaters in America, always did seem too good to last. Sure enough, it hasn’t.
Last month, subscribers were unable to buy tickets for the opening of “Mission: Impossible — Fallout” when the company wasn’t able to pay its bills and its providers put a stop on services. The company got a $5 million cash loan that allowed it to say in operation, and MoviePass said in an open letter apologizing to customers that “certain movies may not always be available in every theater on our platform.”
Then, more outages came. In some cases, entire theaters weren’t showing any movies available for MoviePass customers. Many assumed that was the last straw that would break the the subscription company.
But Monday, the struggling company said in a statement that “with almost a full year of learnings under our belt,” it had come up with a plan that will allow it to remain in business. The changes take effect Aug. 15.
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“The truth is, disruption and innovation require staying flexible and having an open mind. We genuinely strive to offer you a service that is a great deal, and we believe that the new plan we’re introducing will be attractive to the majority of our members,” the company said.
Here are five things MoviePass holders need to know:
Monthly subscription prices won’t increase. The company had said it would increase the monthly subscription prices to $14.95 to increase profitability, but backed away from that plan. The subscription rate remains at $9.95 a month.
Subscribers won’t be able to see nearly as many movies. Instead of a movie a day, members are limited to three a month, which the company says is the number 85 percent of its customers were seeing anyway. Additionally, they get a $5 discount on any additional tickets purchased.
The new plan will include many major studio first-run films, but with some exceptions. For no exceptions on movies and showtimes, choose a theater that offers e-ticketing.
Two unpopular features — peak pricing and ticket verification — are suspended. Under the surge pricing plan, moviegoers were charged more for some big opening weekend films. Ticket verification, a way for the company to prevent fraud and operate more efficiently, didn’t always work correctly.
MoviePass members with a monthly subscription that renews on Aug. 15 will be given an option in the MoviePass app to move their subscriptions to the new plan. Quarterly and annual subscribers will not be impacted until their renewal date.
Photo via Shutterstock / NATNN