MoviePass CEO Says Subscribers Will Be Restricted From Seeing Upcoming Major Movies

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 30, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Business is not going smoothly for movie subscription service MoviePass, which is supposed to allow customers to watch one movie in theaters per a day for a $9.95 per month subscription pass.

    Amid funding issues and a deep drop in stock prices, MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe today held an all-hands meeting where he told employees that customers will be restricted from seeing major movie releases that include "Christopher Robin" and "The Meg."

    MoviePass' Peak Pricing​

    The information comes courtesy of an employee who shared the news with Business Insider, and it comes just after MoviePass prevented many of its subscribers from seeing "Mission Impossible: Fallout," the major movie release last weekend.

    In addition to informing employees that subscribers will not be able to see "Christopher Robin" and "The Meg," on opening weekend Business Insider says that Lowe also "implied that the practice of not offering tickets to major movies would continue for the foreseeable future." Lowe's announcement echoed a statement MoviePass released over the weekend suggesting that "certain movies may not always be available in every theater on our platform."

    "Christopher Robin" is set to be released this weekend, while "The Meg" comes out on August 10.

    MoviePass has been forced to restrict access to popular movies due to financing issues, with reports indicating the service was down last week after parent company Helios & Matheson ran out of money, only restoring the service after securing a loan for millions.

    To prevent another shutdown, customers in many markets were not permitted to see "Mission Impossible: Fallout," and MoviePass has also implemented surge pricing for popular titles that customers have complained are affecting nearly every movie even at non-peak times.

    Image via Twitter

    At the time of this article, MoviePass appears to be down once again, with subscribers seeing a blank screen instead of movie options. MoviePass has not yet commented on today's outage, but the MoviePass website continues to allow new subscribers to sign up.

    Article Link: MoviePass CEO Says Subscribers Will Be Restricted From Seeing Upcoming Major Movies
  2. farewelwilliams macrumors 68020

    Jun 18, 2014
    Yesterday I couldn't get tickets for Mission Impossible. It was just grayed out for no reason (I'm on a yearly subscription, so I'm not affected by the surge pricing).
  3. moabal, Jul 30, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2018

    moabal macrumors regular

    Jun 22, 2010
    Obviously this business model is not going to work long term. Simple math.

    They were trying to grow quickly in the hopes to monetize the data they collect. The issue is they went bankrupt before they could do that. There are other subscription services out there that try to make a profit on a per customer basis rather than trying to have the people who rarely use MoviePass subsidize those who abuse it.

    The only conceivable way forward for these types of subscription services are subscriptions per movie theater/chain that is less generous than MoviePass.
  4. zorinlynx macrumors 603


    May 31, 2007
    Florida, USA
    It figures that people would pay for an entire year in advance, then they would alter the deal a few months in. Anybody who can do math has to know this service would be unsustainable? Especially with MoviePass paying full retail price for the tickets, even requiring you to put them on a special MoviePass debit card?

    MoviePass should be required to offer a refund to customers who signed up before they changed the terms. It's like Darth Vader at Bespin; do they just have to pray they don't alter the deal further?

    Either way, this service won't last much longer as is.
  5. RMAUCHINCLOSS macrumors newbie


    Jul 12, 2018
    I jumped ship from this service three months ago. Got my money's worth while it was good - now it is definitely not worth it. Check out Atom Tickets if you decide to leave Moviepass - although its not a subscription their app for purchasing tickets is unparalleled.
  6. mattyj2001 macrumors member


    Oct 29, 2015
    Too bad they don't have any money to pay those refunds! Yearly subscribers are kind of in a bind. Even if there's a class action lawsuit against them, they don't have any assets to pay anyone.

    I'm pretty sure the business model 'buy something at full retail price, sell it for less' has never worked out for anyone in the history of commerce.
  7. MacLawyer macrumors demi-god


    Aug 1, 2009
  8. Saipher macrumors 6502


    Oct 25, 2014
    They could just increase the price to $19.99/month and it would still be a good deal. Most theaters here in CA cost around $13 so it would still be worth to anyone who goes to the movies often, which is probably the core group interested in such service. Heck, they could get away with charging $24.99/month.
  9. mattyj2001 macrumors member


    Oct 29, 2015
    I got tickets to Mission Impossible in a PLF that I'm not allowed to mention because of my employment, which alone made my AMC A-List membership worth it as that one ticket alone cost more than the monthly subscription. They way I see it, the other 4 or 5 movies I saw in July were free and I'm (probably) not bankrupting AMC. :)
  10. Michael F. Assbender macrumors newbie

    Michael F. Assbender

    Oct 12, 2015
    After having them change the terms of our agreement twice (first, by restricting movies to only one viewing, then by charging to see some movies) I tried to cancel. Sent a message in the app and they didn't respond for a week. Then they sent a message saying, "We hope there's something we can do to change your mind." Followed by another message an hour later saying, "Well, since we haven't heard back from you, it looks like you've decided to stay." Idiots. I sent another message about cancelling and they finally said they'd cancel. But since then, every couple of days they try to charge my card for another month of service. They are incompetent at best, and I hope their CEO goes to the kind of prison where they address his complaints about unwanted shower intimacy in the same way he addressed my cancelation request.
  11. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    So tell me again, why do I want to pay a monthly subscription to see movies, when the movies, I want to see are excluded? I can't see them being very successful over the long haul
  12. CarlJ macrumors 68030


    Feb 23, 2004
    San Diego, CA, USA
    You are sincerely hoping the CEO goes to prison and gets raped? And gets no help from the guards? Neat.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 30, 2018 ---
    Well, that works out, because MoviePass won't be here for the long haul. Their business plan was always unsustainable. It was basically, "sell someone else's prestige product at a loss, and then persuade that company to cut you a deal so you get more money and they get less, all while making their customers think that prestige product is overpriced." The theater chains were never going to go for that.
  13. Michael F. Assbender macrumors newbie

    Michael F. Assbender

    Oct 12, 2015

    "Intimacy" can mean many things. Perhaps a facial caress. But "cancel my account" in ANY setting means "cancel my account." It doesn't mean "please keep trying to charge my card for a service which you agreed to cancel, then send me emails after each failed attempt (I shut off the card because of them) telling me that they'll keep trying but if I don't let them charge my card I won't be able to sign up again for 9 months. Oh no!"

    Yes. Neat.
  14. brendu macrumors 68020

    Apr 23, 2009
    In other news, all 14 people who use this service plan to cancel their subscription.
  15. felixroqu3 macrumors 6502


    Mar 5, 2012
    New York, NY
    I purchased the one year subscription in April for $105 and have definitely gotten my moneys worth. A movie in NYC is $15 minimum. But if they block subscribers from watching major blockbuster films, ill just cancel and get a refund from my CC company.
  16. scuac macrumors member


    Mar 2, 2008
    THis pyramid scheme is finally crumbling, surprised it lasted this long.
  17. szw-mapple fan macrumors 68000

    szw-mapple fan

    Jul 28, 2012
    Once it gets to the $15+ territory AMC A-List becomes a much better option with 3D and repeat viewing available, not to mention the ability to book seats online without service fees. I can see other theaters starting something similar but I don't see how moviepass can survive since it's paying full price for tickets with no revenue from food/drinks.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 30, 2018 ---
    Agreed. Silicon Valley's Sliceline comes to mind:D.
  18. tivoboy macrumors 68040

    May 15, 2005
    Yeah, it's totally not working anymore. In my area, across five theaters there are NO MOVIES that one can book. I think what will have happened here is movie pass will have spent 200+million to show the cinemas how to do it better on their own. Many chains now have 8-10$ a month plans, not any movie per day, but 1-multiple and guest for same price and 25% off concessions and more. Thanks moviepass - for nothing really
  19. nutmac macrumors 601

    Mar 30, 2004
    $19.99/month is roughly the same as AMC Stubs A List ($19.95 + tax), which lets you watch 3 movies a week, including in premium format (3D, IMAX, Dolby Cinema).

    Alternatively, Cinemark Theaters offer Movie Club program at $8.99, which includes 1 movie per month (with an option to purchase two companion tickets for $8.99), and unused ticket will roll over without expiration. Unlike AMC, premium format costs extra.
  20. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Well by your own post it sounds like at the very least MoviePass can be thanked for nudging theaters to offer better, sustainable subscription plans.
  21. dmylrea macrumors 68030


    Sep 27, 2005
    You're saying no one uses the service, yet they are running out of money paying theaters for tickets. LOGIC FAIL.

    As of March 2018, there were 2 MILLION subscribers.
  22. m0sher macrumors 6502


    Mar 4, 2018
    Both my sons have MoviePass and they just told me they’re canceling their subscription and they’re moving to Harkins Rewards.

    I told them it was good while it lasted, they were using it quite frequently. Probably one of the reasons why movie pass ran out of money.

    Most users who purchase it are going to be taking advantage of this (or more) and movie pass was counting on those people who would buy this subscription and not go see a movie every single month .
  23. OldSchoolMacGuy Suspended


    Jul 10, 2008
    Last week they did a reverse stock split in order to drive their price up so they didn't get delisted from the stock exchange.

    Then Thursday they failed to pay their payment processor so people attempting to go to movies on Thursday were denied. They raised an emergency $10 million to pay their processor but they're bleeding it so fast they'll be through it in no time.

    Their stock then crashed again and would be worth in the neighborhood of 2-4¢ at the rate before the reverse split.

    They're done. Get out now.
  24. Tapdawg macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2008
    It’s 3 million now per the email they sent this week to members.
  25. ActionableMango, Jul 30, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2018

    ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    What shocked me was the revelation that the average subscriber only got 1.7 tickets per month. It means for every person bragging about really making hard use of it (getting like 15 to 25 tickets a month), there were a dozen or so subscribers paying the fee but not getting a single ticket.

    So really the plan is more like 'buy something at full retail price, sell it for less' combined with 'collect money for a service that people don't actually use'.

    It makes me wonder, if they just found a way to reign in the heaviest users, maybe it might have been a lot closer than people thought. The obvious trick would be to do something like the cellular companies do, where they say it's "unlimited" in the marketing, but then find loopholes to stop the 1% heaviest users.

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