Leave a Comment
MoviePass made a lot of users upset over this past weekend when Mission: Impossible - Fallout was blacked out by the subscription service. Now, it looks like other upcoming films will suffer the same fate. Today MoviePass announced changes to its subscription service that, among other things, will blackout films that debut on more than 1,000 screens for the first two weeks of release. That means that two major August releases, Disney's Christopher Robin and Jason Statham monster movie The Meg will both also be unavailable when they hit theaters.
While this decision has reportedly been made in order to keep MoviePass from losing money, something which became apparent last week when the subscription service actually went down until it was able to get an infusion of cash to keep things going, it likely will cause some percentage of MoviePass subscribers to cancel their subscriptions. If you're the sort that goes out opening weekend to see all your movies, then MoviePass simply loses value if you can't use it.
While neither Christopher Robin nor The Meg are likely the sorts of films that will be full of the sorts of spoilers that fans want to avoid until they see it, seeing a big movie opening weekend is often a defense mechanism for fans who want to be sure they're not spoiled. Few are going to want to wait two weeks after the next Marvel Cinematic Universe movie comes out in order to use their MoviePass subscription to see it. They might be willing to use it to see a movie a second time if it's worth it.
It seems that MoviePass parent company Helios and Matheson just can't catch a break. They've been trying everything in order to keep MoviePass going, and keep the stock price up, but according to The Playlist, stock is now back to trading below $1 per share, after the company initiated a reverse stock split in order to get the share price back up.
While there are certainly some movies that some people won't mind waiting to see, it remains to be seen if there are enough of those people, and enough of those movies, that will keep MoviePass going. If too many people want to experience The Meg and other films on opening weekend then MoviePass simply won't be the convenient solution it once was. This could drive movie fans to competitive services like Sinemia or AMC Stubs A-List, or simply result in them going back to the standard process of buying tickets one at a time. At least that way there's no hassle, beyond finding a good seat.