The Troubled History of Movie Pass
MoviePass is a subscription-based service that allowed costumers to pay a low monthly fee for movie tickets. The mobile app development allowed customers to pick any movie, at any theater on their phones. The customers could buy one ticket per day. The price of the movie would get added to a prepaid card. Then the customer would hand the theater the card to pay for their ticket.
In 2011 Stacy Spikes and Hamet Watt created MoviePass. At first, Stacy partnered with Hollywood Movie Money and used a voucher system. After customers launched complaints at MoviePass, they decided to investigate app development. Stacey created the MoviePass App in 2013 and was supposed to work with every theater that accepted major credit cards.
Some theaters however like AMC quickly disassociated themselves from the service.
Since the beginning, MoviePass struggled with trying to find the right price for the App. They started charging up to $50 per month depending on the costumer's location. In some regions, they tried other plans such as a $50 plan for 6 movies a month, and $99 for unlimited movie rentals. The plans included 3D movie tickets.
In 2017 MoviePass was sold to an analytical company. The subscription app changed prices again charging only 9.50 dollars a month for one ticket per day. This change brought a lot of new customers to the App. It also cost MoviePass a lot of money.
The Trouble Movie Passes New Plan Cost Them
On July 26, 2018, The App went dark after MoviePass did not have enough money to pay for everyone's ticket. The App came back online, but there are some major changes in the works. The App will now charge $15 a month for a standard movie plan. The new plan will limit which movies can be bought by the app. First Run movies that are running on more than 1,000 screens will have limited availability for the first two weeks unless they are running a promotion. The company claims this is to follow more closely to their goal of supporting indie movies. It could also be a ploy to get big box office movies to pay more money to get their movie out there.
Customers did not get a warning before the changes can into place. The movie shut down ticket sales for Mission Impossible Fallout. It is the first movie suffering from their new limited availability plan. Many of the apps users were angry at the new changes and took to Twitter to air their frustrations.
Movie Passes Competitors
MoviePass has led to many theaters turning to Software Developers to create their own movie ticket app. AMC's A-List is a movie service from AMC Theater where customers can pay $20 a month to watch three movies a week. Sinema is a ticket App costing around $20 a month for two tickets per month. Alamo Drafthouse is also in the works of making their own MoviePass like App.
It is not clear now if these changes to MoviePass will save the company. Angry users might just switch to one of their competitor's offerings, especially if they can get a better deal.