We all love going to the theater, but with prices rising continually, it’s become really expensive if you want to see every latest release. MoviePass lets customers pay only $10 a month to see any movie in theaters that month. They can watch a movie a day, every single day, until the membership is renewed. It really sounds like a scam, but it works. Make sure your theater falls under the umbrella of available locations before you commit to the subscription. The service is used through an app, which gives users a virtual ticket to scan at the theater.
Watch a Movie a Day for a Month for $10 with MoviePass
Name: MoviePass (Visit MoviePass)
Type: Theater Subscription Service
Best Website For: Buying Movie Tickets
Reason it's on The Best Sites:
MoviePass seems too good to be true; for $10 a month, you can watch up to one movie every day until the end of the month. The monthly subscription saves frequent movie-goers a ton of money.
MoviePass's traffic is ranked 11122 globally
|Type of business||Private|
|Headquarters||New York City|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Owner||Helios and Matheson Analytics (92%)|
|Founder(s)||Stacy Spikes, Hamet Watt|
|Industry||Subscription-based movie ticketing|
MoviePass is an American subscription-based movie ticketing service. Founded in 2011 and headquartered in New York City, the service allows subscribers to purchase a single movie ticket per day for a flat subscription fee per month. The service utilizes a mobile app, where users check-into a cinema and choose a film and showtime, which results in the cost of the ticket being loaded to a prepaid debit card, which is used to purchase the ticket from the cinema as usual.
The service went through several pricing structures following its original invite-only launch (including those limited to 2 or 3 films per month, and "unlimited" plans, with pricing based on market size), before announcing in August 2017 that it would switch to offering a plan with a single film per day priced at $9.95 per month. The change in business model came with the acquisition of a majority stake in the company by an analytics firm, which sought to widen the service's reach so it could collect more information on customer viewing habits.
Since its launch, MoviePass has faced objections from major cinema chains, particularly AMC Theatres, over its business model and sustainability. The 2017 change in business model has been successful in attracting customers; the service reported having 2 million subscribers in February 2018. That same month, the company announced at the Sundance Film Festival that it would also acquire and distribute films under the new subsidiary, MoviePass Ventures.
MoviePass was founded in 2011 by technology and entertainment entrepreneurs Stacy Spikes and Hamet Watt. It is backed by major investors including True Ventures, AOL Ventures, WME, NaLa Pictures, Lambert Media, Brian Lee, Diego Berdakin, MJ Eng, Ryan Steelberg and Adam Lilling. The company launched in beta in June 2011 in San Francisco. During initial trials, it encountered resistance from movie theater chains, resulting in the company going on a "temporary hiatus".
At first, MoviePass operated with a voucher system. Members printed a voucher on their home computers and redeemed them for movie tickets at participating cinemas. In August 2011, the company partnered with Hollywood Movie Money to conduct its service through its preexisting voucher program and cinema network. The voucher system was replaced after users complained it was cumbersome. In October 2012, following a national beta test, the service switched to a mobile app and electronically-preloaded prepaid card. While MoviePass claimed the card could be used at all cinemas that accepted major credit cards, there was still some hostility from the industry, including AMC Theatres, who publicly disassociated itself from the service.
In June 2016, MoviePass named Mitch Lowe, a former executive of Netflix and Redbox, as its new CEO. Lowe had been an advisor to the company since 2014. Under Lowe, the service began to experiment with different pricing models; Lowe stated that his eventual goal was to have a low-end service at around $20 per month, ranging up towards a high-end service at around $100 with unlimited movies and availability of 3D screenings. In some regions, the service trialled offering different subscription plans to users, such as a $50 plan for six movies per month, or $99 for unlimited—both allowing users to purchase tickets to 3D screenings. The new plans were criticized by users who felt that they were designed to gouge frequent users of the service.
In July 2016, MoviePass unveiled a new plan structure effective in September, with tiers based on 2, 3 or unlimited movies per month. Prices varied by region, with (for example) the two-movie-per-month plan costing from $15 in small markets to $21 in larger ones. The unlimited plans were also modified to remove the previous restriction of one film every 24 hours, with prices ranging from $40 to $50 per month. Lowe argued that the new plans were designed to appeal to those who did not go to movies often. In December 2016, the service had 20,000 subscribers.
In August 2017, a majority stake in MoviePass was sold to the analytics firm Helios and Matheson. At the same time, the company announced that it would lower its price for an unlimited plan allowing one film per-day, to $9.95 per month. Lowe explained that "after years of studying and analysis we found that people want to go to the movies more often, but the pricing keeps going up, and that prevents them from going more. We're making it more affordable for people." Helios and Matheson's CEO Ted Farnsworth stated the service wanted to increase the size of its userbase in order to analyze viewing habits for targeted advertising. Farnsworth compared the model to those of Facebook and Google, whose free services are subsidized by the collection of personal information for advertising. After announcing their new pricing, the company's website went down due to the increase in traffic. By September 2017, the number of subscribers had increased to 400,000, to 600,000 in mid-October, to one million in December, and two million in February 2018.
On January 19, 2018 at the Sundance Film Festival, MoviePass announced the new subsidiary MoviePass Ventures, which will co-acquire films with traditional distributors. Lowe explained that the company wanted to "bring great films to the big screen across the country for our subscribers", and that "given the successes we have demonstrated for our distributor partners in ensuring strong box office in the theatrical window, it's only natural for us to double down and want to play alongside them – and share in the upside." MoviePass Ventures' first acquisition (in partnership with The Orchard), Bart Layton's American Animals, will be released on June 1, 2018.
In April 2018, Helios and Matheson acquired the movie listings website Moviefone from Verizon's digital media subsidiary Oath Inc. As part of the transaction, Verizon took a stake in MoviePass stock.
The same month, MoviePass quietly removed the unlimited plan for new customers, and replaced it with a new plan limited to three movies per-month, bundled with a complimentary three-month trial of iHeartRadio All Access. Lowe stated that he was not sure if the previous plan would be reinstated, explaining that "We just always try different things. Every time we try a new promotion, we never put a deadline on it." The unlimited plan was reinstated two weeks later, with the limited plan maintained as a cheaper option at the $7.95 price point; Lowe stated that the company was "absolutely committed" to keeping the unlimited option.
Subscribers to MoviePass are issued a branded prepaid debit card. Using the MoviePass mobile app, users check-in at a supported cinema, and select a film and showtime occurring within the next 30 minutes; the card is automatically loaded with the amount of money needed to purchase a single ticket from the cinema for that film. The user then purchases their ticket as usual, using their MoviePass card as their payment method. Hence, the service is subsidizing the purchase of tickets directly from the cinema by the customer. Some cinemas support e-tickets through MoviePass. MoviePass has said that its service is supported at 91% of U.S. cinemas. One regional dine-in chain, Studio Movie Grill, made an investment in MoviePass, and partnered to pilot features such as food ordering from within the app.
The MoviePass service has several limitations. It cannot be used for screenings in specialty formats such as 3D or IMAX. The service also does not support advance purchase of tickets, and only allows solo purchases. Effective April 2018, a user may only use MoviePass on a particular film once.
The business model of MoviePass has faced notable resistance from major cinema chains since its launch; the company's 21-theatre pilot in San Francisco was called off after objections by AMC Theatres and Landmark Theatres, who were included in the slate of locations without their knowledge. Stacy Spikes explained to Deadline.com that he "imagine[d] a day where studio executives can see real-time decisions that subscribers are making from their phones and devices. If studios say they are not interested in being able to talk to their customers, knowing what they are thinking and being able to notify them of things like ancillary items, and that theater owners aren't interested in having these people go to the movies more, and drive up concessions sales, and having us put all this in the palms of their hands, then I'm in the wrong business."
Following the announcement of MoviePass's new pricing model in August 2017, AMC stated that it was "actively working now to determine whether it may be feasible to opt out and not participate in this shaky and unsustainable program", as "by definition and absent some other form of other compensation, MoviePass will be losing money on every subscriber seeing two movies or more in a month", and that lowering its prices in response to the service would harm the customer experience. The service's original pricing depended on a business model similar to those of health clubs, where the company would profit more if customers paid for the service but only used it on occasion.
Some users have found the app's Terms of Service confusing, especially those new to the service. The ToS have been updated several times since its launch, but the changes have not always been clear to users. There have been cases when outdated sections from previous incarnations of the app have remained in the updated ToS though they are no longer relevant to the service. In other cases, users discover sections that they think are new but that have been in the ToS since the beginning, as was the case with the most recent update. Item 2.4 in the updated ToS reads, “MoviePass reserves the right to change the rules of movie-going attendance and ticket availability to members in connection with the Service at anytime. MoviePass reserves the right to change from time to time the number of eligible movies a member can see per month. MoviePass reserves the right to offer members a new price option if they exceed watching a certain amount of movies per month.” While this is nearly identical to Item 27.3 from the 2016 version of the app, new users feared the effect it might have on their accounts thinking it was a new passage. 
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