With the new year in full swing, MoviePass is hoping 2019 will turn its losses upside down with the reintroduction of its service through new packages and an upcoming relaunch of its famed unlimited plan.
The movie ticket subscription service has launched a new marketing campaign in hopes to attract cinephiles to its new business model and plans. MoviePass will roll out a “Select” plan that allows users to see three movies per month, ranging from $9.95 to $14.95, and a “Red Carpet” plan that's also for three movies, but with the option for IMAX, 3D and other premium formats, which would be a $19.95 to $24.95 monthly payment. Pricing would depend on the region the subscriber hails from, with major cities being the most expensive, for example.
According to Variety, MoviePass also has plans to reintroduce a new unlimited program as well, although the price of this package has not yet been announced. The service also boasted that it's started to regain subscribers, and its customer approval rating has risen from 44% to 59% since launching the new plans. MoviePass’s Executive VP Khalid Itum believes the service is “turning a corner."
Last summer, MoviePass took a huge beating when it ran out of money after the subscription service gained well over a million subscribers. The service’s struggles were made obvious to users who experienced interruptions with MoviePass while trying to catchthe summer blockbuster Mission: Impossible – Fallout whilst its parent company was borrowing $5 million to keep the service afloat.
MoviePass’ original business model of offering its users 1 movie per day for a $9.95 monthly fee wasn’t viable, especially during a year when box office earnings were sky high. Following the debacle, the service kept changing up on subscribers by quickly adding new restrictions, such as an option of seeing only two specific movies a day and increasing the service’s pricing.
MoviePass’ parent company, Helios and Matheson Analytics, dipped hundreds of millions of dollars and lost stock prominence, and between June and September 2018, new downloads of MoviePass declined 76%. The remaining subscribers are starting to see less movies per month, which is actually probably good for the service’s bank account.
With the fall of MoviePass, other movie ticketing subscription services have gained prominence, such as AMC Theatre’s Stubs A-List service, which offers three movies a week at any location, time and format for $19.95 a month. After AMC’s service quickly reached over 500,000 subscribers in November in just four months, it was announced the price would also be raised for new users joining in early 2019.
The price of MoviePass’ new unlimited plan will certainly contribute to its coming success or failure, but as the service has learned, making its service too affordable could spell out bad news down the line.