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MoviePass Reveals Annual Subscription For $6.95 a Month (slashfilm.com) 103

An anonymous reader shares a report: MoviePass seemed like the deal of the century: $10 a month to see one movie a day at the theaters? No contest. But in the three months since the start-up company seeking to disrupt the theater market with a Netflix-like service launched its new business model, MoviePass has been plagued by technical hiccups, backed-up deliveries, and potential lawsuits. As the company expanded its operations, it finally began to settle into its new subscription base of more than 600,000 users. And now MoviePass is already offering up a new deal: an up-front annual subscription of $89.95, which amounts to about $6.95 a month. But how much of a discount is it really? The MoviePass annual subscription is a limited-time promotion that will last 12 months, according to the website. Users pay $89.95 up front, plus a $6.55 processing fee. "Once your year is up, your plan will convert back into your $9.95 a month. Offer valid until it's not. Limit two per household," the MoviePass website says.
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MoviePass Reveals Annual Subscription For $6.95 a Month

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  • Math is hard. (Score:2, Informative)

    by tburkhol ( 121842 )

    $89.95/12 = $7.50/month

    ($89.95+$6.55) / 12 = $8.04/month

    I mean, 20% off is a fine deal, but it's no $6.95

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 17, 2017 @12:41PM (#55570685)
      This is what we affectionately call Paul Ryan math.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      $89.95 looks to be ($6.95*12)+6.55. The $89.95 price possibly includes the fee already and someone just mixed it up.

    • by mcmonkey ( 96054 )

      The service also doesn't allow you to see a movie a day. But why get caught up on facts now?

      • Please explain. You may have some weird edge case, but while I haven't seen a movie every single day I've been a member, I have absolutely seen a movie on consecutive days. (2 consecutive many times, I think once 3.)

        It's very much paid for itself already, and I will almost certainly take the gamble to lower the price even more. (The gamble that they will even be around in a year.)

        Have I seen tons of movies I wouldn't have seen in a theater? Absolutely. But I see that as a positive, not a negative. Whi

        • by mcmonkey ( 96054 )

          If previous stories on this service are correct, the clock on your next movie starts when the previous movie ended, not when it began. In my mind, advertising the service as allowing you to see a movie per day means you could go at a 1 PM matinee showing every day. That's not how it's been explained to me.

          How it does work is, if you go to a 1 PM showing that ends at 3, you can see your next movie starting at 3 the next day. Your next movie starting at 5, and so on, depending on the length of the movies.

          So c

          • I think you may be referring to their old rules (pre-$9/95/month, since lowered again if paying annually).

            A FAQ item currently says:

            There are no âoeblackoutâ dates. As a MoviePass member, you can see up to one standard 2D film per calendar day.

            I will likely today see a movie less than 24 hours after my previous movie started.

            • by mcmonkey ( 96054 )

              OK. I stand corrected. That's pretty good for the folks using the service.

              Though I don't know why I care one way or the other. I see a movie in the theater somewhere between 2 and 3 times per year. While you can get a fantastic average price per showing on admission with this program, it does nothing about people talking, light from cells phones, theaters that feel watching a movie should be like attending a sporting event where you have wait staff walking about during the action delivering food, etc.

              This i

              • I did end up seeing a movie that started about 21 hours after the previous one.

                Ok, I get it, youâ(TM)re one of the many people who donâ(TM)t like seeing movies in theaters.

                I like seeing them in theaters, and have several theaters within a couple of miles. I donâ(TM)t have to have ridiculously priced theater junk food the vast vast majority of the time, so the ticket price is the main cost.. and this makes the cost go way down.

  • by sittingnut ( 88521 ) <sittingnut&gmail,com> on Friday November 17, 2017 @12:42PM (#55570697) Homepage

    on individual basis, expenses incurred by this company on behalf of a regular movie going subscriber, overwhelm its possible income.

    business is supposedly built on assumption that most of its subscribers will not see even one movie a month.
    but that seems foolish since subscribers who go to the trouble of paying upfront payment are likely to be people who will make use of their subscription.

    so this is now basically using new subscriber cash for future year to pay for current month. so will need ever more new subscribers to service older ones. in other words, a pyramid schemes.

    • Their problem is they are more likely to get subscribers who will regularly go than the occassional movie goer. Add in seeng more movies than you normally would has no marginal cost beyond time and transportation subscribers are likely to use the pass more often. While theaters may not care since concessions is the real money maker distributers will and still want their cut even if the theater isn’t getting full lrice. Not a model for long term success unless you can get theatrrs and distributors to
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by MightyYar ( 622222 )

        This can be solved by penalizing people without a movie plan through the tax code.

        • by gnick ( 1211984 )

          Or by surprising subscribers with a price hike while removing coverage for certain types of movies. Also, if you had a trip to the movies planned before signing up, MoviePass does not have to cover that title during your first year of membership. If you see too many movies during a single lifetime, they'll have the option of capping your usage and removing you from the service.

          • Fortunately, if after they boot you off the movie plan and you spend all your money on full-price tickets, all your movies are free after that.

      • The local theater here get's students that go multiple nights a week because it's one of the few places that they can go to just hang out I would imagine if those student all had passes they would be loosing out on a lot of money.
         

    • I've always heard that the actual ticket price is virtually meaningless. Theaters make their money off concession sales. The markup on movie popcorn is possibly the highest markup on the planet. And I assume that if you receive a ticket (even if it's free to you), the theaters are still paying the same amount as if you bought a full-price ticket to whoever receives that money, so it's not really a pyramid scheme at all? Everyone is still making about the same amount of money.
      • Most theaters love moviepass for the reasons you give, AMC is the except and for other reasons.
        The claim of the pyramid scheme is that moviepass is having to pay those full ticket costs with them paying out more for a single ticket then I am paying for the monthly pass so they have to be getting money from some source. If you go by the pyramid scheme then that would be the people who signed up after I did.
    • by stdarg ( 456557 )

      No it's not a pyramid scheme because people aren't being paid. The long-term plan they have, since dropping prices, has been to steal enough market share to be able to negotiate prices with theater chains. That is why AMC is looking at ways to ban MoviePass. The goal is eventually to turn it into a Netflix style all you can watch program, and the theater just gets a cut of it, rather than a per-ticket profit. Of course the theaters don't care at all about profit on movie prices IF they can pass on those red

  • For what it's worth (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 17, 2017 @12:42PM (#55570703)

    I had Movie Pass last year. First it was $29.95. Then, when I actually started watching a movie a day, they raised my rate to $39.95. They reduced the number of movies to be watched by telling me I could only see each movie once. Then they required me to take a picture of my ticket stub. The final straw was when they created a basic "lottery" of movies I could watch by issuing only a small number of tickets per film (so it became a first-come-first-served ticket.)

    I've come back to Movie Pass because of the $9.95 price and it looks like they've relaxed nearly all the constraints. But I'm troubled by the small print...

    2.4 MoviePass reserves the right to offer members a new price option if they exceed watching a certain amount of movies per month.

    SO, while they advertise a movie a day, they will probably charge you more if you actually attempt it.

    • Did they bump it up in the middle of the payment period, or at the end of it?

    • Are there really that many movies released in the US over the course of a year? How many of those do you actually *WANT* to see?
      • There are usually several released a week. How many I want to see varies, but the ones I want to see in a theater are pretty rare. But the number that I want to watch "once they hit Netflix" is much higher. This would change that dynamic greatly.

    • by stdarg ( 456557 )

      That's interesting, my friend was in the program since the beginning and they never changed the terms. The only restriction was seeing a movie once, and one movie per day. Never had to take pictures or have a lottery or any of that stuff. Sounds like they were experimenting in certain markets to see what they could get away with.

      • by Guppy ( 12314 )

        That's interesting, my friend was in the program since the beginning and they never changed the terms. The only restriction was seeing a movie once, and one movie per day. Never had to take pictures or have a lottery or any of that stuff. Sounds like they were experimenting in certain markets to see what they could get away with.

        The other possibility could be that they managed to get some better contracts with some movie theater chains than others. It's possible that if you end up as a consumer who visits the high-cost chains (or high-cost geographical locations), that they end up restricting your visits and trying to push you out -- however, we as end-users would have no idea which ones those happen to be.

        Another possibility is that they had suspicions of fraudulent behavior from theater owners, and you happened to unfortunately

  • Not 89.95.

    I'm really pissed enough about all those tack-on and "oh, we have to add this still" fees that get piled on the "ONLY!!!!" price so in the end you pay about as much as you did without the discount, if not more.

    That alone means sorry, no sale. If you want to sell me something, tell me what it really costs. Anything else means you're trying to bullshit me.

    • by gnick ( 1211984 )

      $6.95 * 12 + $6.55 = $89.95

  • by alvinrod ( 889928 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @12:44PM (#55570725)
    I almost wonder if this is a way to rake in some additional revenue before the company goes belly up for any variety of reasons such as result of some ongoing litigation. If they're only going to be around for another 2 months, $89.95 seems like a hell of a lot better to them than the usual $20. Just enough time for a big round of bonuses for hitting various growth targets before the corpse of the company is picked over by various jackal^H^H^H^H^H^Hlawyers.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Ragnarok89 ( 1066010 )
      I think you might be on to something here.

      Last year, my neighborhood gym went on a massive recruitment drive; 1 year memberships for all services for $200 (a great deal considering what was included). Needless to say, 3 months after they began, the place suddenly closed, no warning, no explanation given. I can only imagine how many people lost their money... the place was packed every night.

  • It seems to be the case that, every year, they come up with, at best, four or five movies worth watching in movie theaters. On this basis, the deal offered sucks.
  • Don't get me wrong, I love this service/company. I've seen 13 movies on it since mid September - a bunch I would have never seen otherwise. Which is likely a big plus to film makers and theaters right?

    But this scheme kind of makes one wonder if they are trying to maximize cash intake before the company collapses. I hope that's not true and they stay around forever offering this sweet deal.

  • then when the "honeymoon" time is over they slam you. Almost all service providers use this trick. And I'm sick of it. Tell me what your going to charge me up front. Period!
    • So do this up front payment and lock your self into the price for a year. Other wise continue to pay the $9.95 a month.
    • they raise their rates uniformly and so rarely that it makes news when they do. my Crunchyroll account has been $7/mo for 6 years.

      Now, my ISP does this, but that's because they have a monopoly and little or no regulatory oversight. Hmm....
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I signed up when they announced the $9.95/month service. It works fine for me and I see about 3-4 movies/month with the MoviePass. Before I would see maybe 5 movies/year in a theater, by picking and choosing movies I really wanted to see and use discounted CostCo movie tickets ($8-$11/ticket) or catch the $6.49 matinee. Other movies that didn't make the cut, I'd wait for it to be on cable or DVD (library).

    I would not pre-pay their annual fee though as I'm not sure when they might collapse since it appears t

  • Clearly they're not going to sustain this with paying for the full-fare tickets. Consumers will cancel their subscriptions if they think they're paying more for the service than the tickets would cost without it. Where this would work is if they could contract with the theaters to get lower rates for their members, so members still get a good deal, but the membership still makes money for MoviePass. If the average member sees 2.34 movies/month, then they would need to negotiate a ticket price of somethin

    • Now they're probably burning through venture capital trying to grow large enough to negotiate those deals before they self destruct.

      My only question is if they have 1 year of capital to burn. Some companies (e.g. Twitter) can go for many years without turning a profit.

  • by SmaryJerry ( 2759091 ) on Friday November 17, 2017 @02:12PM (#55571425)
    Does anyone know how it's is conceivable that this is a sustainable business model? They don't even get a discount ticket price from the theater! Please tell me. If I pay them $90 for a year. I can see a movie every day? For that $90 in income this company might pay out to theaters $12 * 365 days a year for a total of $4,380. Even if I only see a movie once a week, they make $90 income but pay out $624. I really want to know how they make money. This seems like a complete scam!
    • by stdarg ( 456557 )

      They used to charge a lot more, and relied on people skipping periods of time when no new worthwhile movies were out. When they announced the cheap plan, they said their goal was to amass data and sell it. People are speculating that their real ultimate plan is to use loss-leading to gain market share and then turn around and negotiate a new price structure with movie companies and theater chains. So it'll be like an in-theater Netflix... and if a theater doesn't play ball, they're going to lose out on that

  • It's tough to compete with companies like Netflix and Amazon. Netflix has a wide range of movies and TV shows while Amazon Prime offers great content as well. Hulu while still a major player I've fallen out of touch with. Cutting the cord with telecom companies is definitely a fast growing trend. I'm a little skeptical of new companies like this because it's a market that has already been tapped into by the major Tech companies. Pluto is great for free content as they profit from commhttps://entertainment.s
  • Yeah, it's off topic but how often does the U.S. Navy draw a penis in the sky?
    http://www.bbc.com/news/420326... [bbc.com]
    Moviepass? WTF?
  • Nothing in our area. Closest theater it works at is 50 miles away. The two relatives that could use this can't use it because it requires a smart phone. Oh well.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      It works at all theaters that accept MasterCard. If you look for theaters in the app before you have your card, the only ones that show are those that allow online ticketing through the MoviePass app. I'm in Seattle, until I had my card it only showed a couple of theaters, none close. Once I received my card, all my local theaters are listed. I've had no problems using it.
  • The theater gives a significant portion of ticket revenue to the film distributor, and the theater owner keeps the bulk of the concession revenue.

    By sacrificing box office revenue, the theater will pocket greater revenue from concession sales.

    As a theater owner why wouldn't I do this?

    As a movie distributor I would hate this, if anyone forces this to end it will be the distributors.

  • Did was some big product launch? The free Maps API wasn't a good choice.

    js?key=AIzaSyDzGM_p6TFSrR7xtvan6loYKJcqJ5hx2yE:40 You have exceeded your daily request quota for this API.
    We recommend enabling billing to get a higher quota: https://developers.google.com/... [google.com]

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