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MoviePass Is Coming Back, But With Some Wild Changes

Charles Fleischer and Bob Hoskins in Who Framed Roger Rabbit
(Image credit: Disney)

One of the most cautionary tales that’s ever been told in the movie industry is that of MoviePass. What was once a promising business model became an experiment that was eventually deemed unsustainable in its final phase of life. After the brand was pulled out of bankruptcy last year, the wheels started turning to bring the business back into the marketplace, new and improved. Now we have some of the first details of those wild changes, as a kickoff to the road ahead.

MoviePass 2.0 Is Introducing A New Credits System, And Tiered Plans

During today’s MoviePass relaunch event, original CEO and founder Stacy Spikes discussed the plan for what’s essentially the second act of the previously embattled company. Spikes laid out some new features and strategy for this summer’s planned reintroduction and innovation to the platform. The first of these is the implementation of tiered plans tied to a new credits system, which will help determine where, when and what you see. 

Part of the new and improved MoviePass is going to introduce tiered subscription plans for those who want to join the family. Through those plans, a number of credits will be issued to subscribers looking to go see Death on the Nile in theaters. As the quantities theoretically depend on which plan you're subscribed to, another new ability will come in handy if you want to bring a friend. 

In the model that was shown in the live demo, 24 credits was the benchmark issued to our hypothetical user. Not only will you be able to bring friends to the movies with these credits, you’ll be able to roll them over or even transfer them to said friend if they're on a solo mission. It's all possible through the interface shown below: 

MoviePass graphic interface example.

(Image credit: MoviePass)

One last aspect of this new system is the ability for individual theaters to set on/off peak hours. According to an example from a live demo conducted by Stacy Spikes, if you want to see Licorice Pizza, or any other Academy Award nominee, at your local movie house, you’ll have to check the listings a little more carefully. We say this because, according to the data in the demo, one theater may have a 4:20 showing could run you two credits, while the 6:50 showing could run you 10 credits. As you see above, this will vary between venues, as another provider was shown to offer two-three credit showings throughout an entire day.

Introducing The Preshow Experience

Another wild change added to MoviePass 2.0 is something called “Preshow,” which may sound familiar to you gamers out there. Noting product placement as a huge driver in the movie industry, Mr. Spikes offered a new approach that connect advertisers directly to consumers. It’s all thanks to the credits system we just mentioned, as subscribers will be able to earn even more credits through interacting with ads. 

Watching targeted ads, as well as making purchases through partners, will grant subscribers points. Say you’re a 007 fan who’s looking forward to the next entry of the James Bond movies. Through Preshow, you could earn points through watching the trailer or purchasing a gift that any Bond fan would love through an ad partner; allowing you to earn more credits, or potentially see the movie for free. Keep your eyes on those ads though, as your phone's face tracking will be used to pause them when you're not looking. 

These are the early days for the next chapter of MoviePass, and there’s plenty more to learn where this came from. As it stands, the unsustainable model has been changed to compete with current subscription services through major theater chains. We don’t know when exactly the relaunch will be happening, but right now the summer time frame is what’s being specified. So keep your eyes on the 2022 movie releases in that season, and start gaming out your point spending strategies accordingly. 

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.