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The movie theater industry is currently facing challenges on many fronts as the digital age and streaming services have kept more people at home and out of theaters. But MoviePass aims to change all of that and bring people back to the big screen. The subscription service is planning to disrupt the moviegoing experience in the same way that Netflix disrupted the way we watch TV. MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe spoke about why the service is so appealing and why moviegoers love MoviePass, saying:
People really do want to go to the movies more often, and especially young people. What they've really been looking for is better way to do it or at least a different way. Millions of people who've grown up with subscriptions love this whole idea of paying one flat-fee and then being able to go when they want, to see whatever they want to see.
In his interview with Cheddar, Mitch Lowe is really speaking to the changing way we consume and pay for content. For many people nowadays, especially younger ones, media consumption has moved to a subscription-based model. Unless you like the sound of vinyl or are a purist who buys Blu-rays, physical media is a dying concept. Services like Spotify for music and Netflix for TV are becoming the norm. You can see this trend in the eschewing of the traditional pay cable model with so many millennials cutting the cord. More people are used to paying a low subscription fee and having an abundance of content available to them with no limits on consumption. The flat fee Movie Pass is offering is an enticing one. For $9.95 a month you're already coming in at under the cost of a single ticket; see more than one movie, and the subscription is money well spent.
I do agree with Mitch Lowe that people really do want to go to the movies more often. But depending on where you live, that can be a financially prohibitive exercise. If you aren't seeing a matinee and you're taking another person, plus drinks and snacks, it can really add up. So his point that movie fans love MoviePass is a hard one to argue with. Getting to see more movies for less money is an enticing prospect to anyone who even has a tempered love of the cinema. After cutting its subscription price to that powerful value proposition mark of $10, MoviePass has hit a million subscribers in only 4 months. So it's clear that the service has struck a cord among moviegoers and a large number of people do indeed love MoviePass.
It will be interesting to see in the coming year how MoviePass grows and how theaters will react to it. A slow box office and declining margins reflect an industry in flux in which theaters are still trying to find their footing. Fewer people buying tickets over the years have forced theaters to increase ticket prices, resulting in higher box offices. Thus theaters are trying all sorts of tactics to increase profits. I think MoviePass has the potential to drive more people into the theater and a full theater has to be better than an empty one. The more people who are seeing movies, the more profit-rich concessions can be sold. But it is clear that it is more complicated than that and the theater chains are hardly sold on MoviePass, with some outright fighting it. And if the theaters don't make enough to stay open, there will be nowhere for MoviePass subscribers to go. So it remains to be seen whether or not Mitch Lowe's MoviePass plan will be as successful and disruptive as his previous effort at Netflix.
MoviePass or no, there are plenty of reasons to head to the theater in the coming year. Check out our release schedule to figure out which films you'll want to see in 2018.