Friday, 13 April 2018 17:58

MoviePass: Two month review

A few months ago I wrote Movie Pass: What is it (and is it too good to be true). At the time I wrote that piece I didn’t actually have  MoviePass but I had ordered one and was waiting for it to arrive.

 

Well, it arrived and I’ve since used it for two glorious movie filled months! For those not in the know:

 

MoviePass is a subscription service where you pay a monthly fee (usually $9.99) and then you can use your MoviePass card to see one free movie every day.

 

Wait, seriously? That sounds too good to be true.

 

Yes. Seriously. MoviePass is totally legit! Since I received my MoviePass card in the mail on Friday, February 16th, here are the movies I’ve seen with it:

 

Annihilation

Black Panther

Red Sparrow

Game Night

Thoroughbreds

Love, Simon

Tomb Raider

Unsane

Ready Player One

Pacific Rim 2

A Quiet Place

Chappaquiddick

Blockers



I even kept track of how much each ticket would have cost had I not been using MoviePass - $126.

 

I actually bought a full year subscription which gave me a discount ($7.95 per month) and a one time sign up fee of $20. So my total cost up front was approx. $120.  

 

I have now made my money back and still have another ten months on my subscription.

 

But you don’t have to pay all that money up front. You can sign up for the monthly subscription at $9.95 per month and cancel any time. But you should know if you cancel you can’t sign up for MoviePass for nine months.

 

But, wait - how is MoviePass sustainable?

 

Fair question! The average ticket price across America is somewhere in the $8.50 range so if a typical MoviePass customer attends the cinema twice per month - MoviePass loses money!

 

So, you’re right - that doesn’t seem sustainable.

 

First - MoviePass has 1.5 million subscribers. Second - MoviePass is the only company that can tell theaters exactly who and when people are going to the movies. This is valuable information for theater chains to have and it has led studios to pay MoviePass to advertise their films through the MoviePass app.

 

Finally, MoviePass will sell your data in some situations but they are very open about it on their website saying,  

 

“Except where outlined in this policy or otherwise communicated to you, we will not sell, rent or disclose your personal information to third parties without notifying you of our intent to do so. In such an event, Users will be notified in advance, giving you the opportunity to prevent your personal information from being shared.”

 

Finally, concessions. MoviePass, as of yet, does not get a cut of concessions but they are certainly pursuing that option.  It is no secret that theater chains make the overwhelming majority of their money selling concessions. For example, that $12 bucket of popcorn you buy at the theater cost the theater chain about five cents. That, my friend, is a lot of profit.

 

And if MoviePass can demonstrate that it is driving customers to the theaters, customers that would not normally attend - why not cut them in? I am proof positive that MoviePass is driving me to the theater. And I am proof positive that I will NOT go to a theater that does not accept MoviePass.

 

Of the thirteen movies I have seen with MoviePass I bought concession twice. Which, to be honest, is probably unusually low for a typical consumer. I suspect the average cinema attendee buys concessions closer to fifty percent of the time. Maybe higher.

 

MoviePass has already shown the theater chains that it is driving about 5% of moviegoers to the theater but when MoviePass promotes a specific film that percentage jumps up to 20%.

 

Studios and theater chains are taking notice. MoviePass currently has approx 1.5 million subscribers but if they can get that number up to four or five million that will be a game changer for them.

 

What about their lousy customer service?

 

Yeah, I read all about that too. When MoviePass jumped from a few hundred thousand subscribers to 1.5 million (in the span of about a month) they had serious delays in meeting demand. I mean, they still have to produce and ship an actual card to your house. It’s not just an app.

 

They just didn’t have the manpower to keep up with the sudden demand. They also didn’t have the manpower to respond to emails and phone calls.

 

Mitch Lowe, the CEO of MoviePass sat down with CNN money and discussed this very problem. Basically he was like, “Yeah, our customer service sucked for a while but we’re working on it.”

 

And they did. I signed up for MoviePass and recieved my card in about a week. It takes me all of fifteen seconds to use the app and check in to the theater and access my free movie. The only minor hoops you have to jump through:

 

  1. MoviePass only allows you to see 2D movies - no IMAX or 3D movies.
  2. You can only use MoviePass to see one movie per day.
  3. You can not buy tickets in advance with MoviePass. You must be at the theater. (Though, there are a handful of smaller independent chains that now allow you to use your MoviePass to purchase online in advance but this seems to be an exception to the rule).
  4. You need to use your phone or tablet to access the MoviePass app so you will need internet access.  

 

These are very minor hoops and I have not had a single issue with MoviePass. It is a totally legit service and I will use it until the end of days!


To learn more about MoviePass and / or to sign up for the service, visit their site here.

 

Published in News & Information

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