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Movie subscription service MoviePass today confirmed that it will soon introduce surge pricing into its business model, charging customers from $2 and up for films that the company deems popular. The news comes from MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe, who confirmed to Business Insider that surge pricing will affect monthly subscribers while annual subscribers will be exempt from what he describes as "high-demand" pricing.

moviepass-app-map.jpg

The change will appear for affected subscribers within the "coming weeks," according to Lowe. Surge pricing is a dynamic, time-based strategy that apps like Uber use when a large amount of customers are requesting rides in the app but there aren't enough drivers to taxi them around.

Now this will extend to MoviePass, so on opening weekends or at particularly busy late-night showings of popular movies, monthly subscribers should expect to pay a bit more above their locked-in $9.95/month subscription price. Because this is not a fee that the movie theater is charging, users can expect MoviePass to take the surge pricing fee from the credit cards associated with their account -- although Lowe or any MoviePass spokesperson has yet to confirm this.
"At certain times for certain films -- on opening weekend -- there could be an additional charge for films," Lowe told Business Insider.

Lowe said this decision was a way to have its theaters partners see more traffic for big blockbusters in the mid-week and less-crowded weekends following the movie's opening weekend. It was also to "make sure that we can continue to offer a valuable service and support the whole enterprise," Lowe added.
Otherwise, there are two other additions coming to MoviePass this summer: a bring-a-friend feature and IMAX/3D screenings. In the MoviePass iOS and Android app, subscribers will be able to add on a ticket for a non-MoviePass friend, the cost of which will be "somewhere near the retail price of the ticket."

For IMAX and 3D movies, users will be given the option to pay an added fee for the premium screenings, ranging from $2-$6 according to Lowe. As of now, one of MoviePass' detriments is that it only allows subscribers to watch regular 2D movies. At launch subscribers will have to choose one of these features or the other for a single film, but eventually they will be able to combine premium and bring-a-friend options for the same movie.

The MoviePass news comes after AMC just yesterday revealed its own movie subscription service, which will let customers watch three movies per week for $19.95 a month -- including IMAX and RealD 3D showings. Lowe responded to this new rival service today as well:
"It's been tough when you have the president of AMC essentially for eight or nine months telling everybody that our subscription was not sustainable, and then he comes out with a program that essentially could cost him $60 or $80 a month to pay the studios their minimums and collecting $19.95," Lowe said, referring to AMC CEO Adam Aron. "So it is a little bit kind of funny that it's pretty clear what he wanted to do -- clear the way for his own subscription program and not have competition."
All of the new MoviePass features -- including surge pricing -- will appear in the MoviePass app by the end of August.

Article Link: MoviePass Will Introduce Surge Pricing for Popular Films Beginning in a Few Weeks
 

dylgio

macrumors newbie
May 9, 2014
2
3
I am rooting for MoviePass big time. What I don't want to see is every theater chain having their own subscription service. AMC is pretty much the Comcast of Movie Theaters so they can piss right off. 10 bucks a month was always going to be too good to be true I just hope they find that sweet spot before they go under and all we have is 30-50 dollar subscription to 10 different places.
 

Soba

macrumors 6502
May 28, 2003
308
360
Rochester, NY
I realize that there are some who love seeing movies in the theater. That's cool, but I'm not one of them.

My list of reasons to NOT go to a theater to see movies is already pretty long. Expensive tickets, annoying patrons playing/talking on phones while kicking your seat, $10 popcorn, huge lines for popular movies, etc.

Their solution: Make it more expensive.

Me: Nope. Blu-Ray and 4K, thanks. I can wait 2 months and buy the disc for less than the total cost of the "theater experience."
 

Crow_Servo

macrumors 6502
Feb 17, 2018
370
329
America
Agreed--- When I signed up, I signed up for the specific terms. They keep switching that up and this was bait & Switch!!
It would only be a Bait & Switch if they had you stuck in a contract (or if this affected the annual members). Since it’s month-to-month, they can keep changing it up.

The changes are definitely annoying, but none of them are deal breakers for me yet. My wife and I decided we just won’t watch movies opening weekend now to avoid that extra cost. Plus, we already didn’t watch most movies opening weekend anyways, so it’s almost a non-issue.

I guess the option to watch 3D/IMAX for an added fee is good news for some. I’d possibly watch a few movies a year in 3D if the premium isn’t too much. But 2D’s been fine for us, so that isn’t an issue either.

What we’d like is a family pass feature, so we could just use one card for two tickets, and get charged a single amount for it, instead of separate charges like it is now. Either way, it’s still working out, and it’s understandable that they keep changing the program to try to find a more sustainable business model.
 

Zorn

macrumors 65816
Feb 14, 2006
1,057
646
Ohio
I still maintain that as long as you live in an area with AMC nearby, their service seems a lot more appealing. Apart from shenanigans like this, often times when seeing a movie with a group people will want to see IMAX or the 3D version. It kinda sucks to either have to try and convince the group to go for the single showing in 2D because of your money saver service, then also hope there's a ticket for that one showing available because you can't reserve online, or just pay full price.

Apart from people who are purposely going out of their way to squeeze every drop out of the membership, I cannot imagine a high number of people are seeing more than 3 movies a week with MP. I'll be super hard pressed to see 3 a month with the AMC service, but at least it will offer much more flexibility and no silliness like the year long lockin or surprise "new movie fees". With just 2-3 IMAX or 3D movies a month you still come out ahead with the AMC service, and you're also getting the Stubs program perks.
 
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Macaholic868

macrumors 6502a
Feb 2, 2017
552
683
When there was still a movie theater in my home town I’d be all over it. The nearest theater now is a 20 minute drive. Not worth it except for certain event films I love (Marvel Movies, Star Wars films ... except for Solo which I’ve got no desire to see).
 

BruiserB

macrumors 68000
Aug 9, 2008
1,643
587
I paid for an annual membership from Costco. They keep changing the terms on me... It's a bait and switch.

What terms have changed? I paid for the annual membership (but not through Costco) and nothing seems to have changed for me.

EDIT: Except I guess for the ability to see the same movie more than once...and I thought that was a term when I signed up. I did see one movie twice and was surprised when the app let me do it. I think that may have technically been one of the terms initially, but then they started to actually enforce it.
 

Bep76

macrumors newbie
Jun 21, 2018
1
1
What terms have changed? I paid for the annual membership (but not through Costco) and nothing seems to have changed for me.

EDIT: Except I guess for the ability to see the same movie more than once...and I thought that was a term when I signed up. I did see one movie twice and was surprised when the app let me do it. I think that may have technically been one of the terms initially, but then they started to actually enforce it.
Article says annual members will be exempt from this
[doublepost=1529604151][/doublepost]Read the article. It says annual members are exempt from this
 
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subjonas

macrumors 68040
Feb 10, 2014
3,499
3,342
This is really going to mess with opening weekend box office numbers.
I think I’d rather they just offer a higher price tier that doesn’t have these extra little fees. Or maybe I’ll switch to a yearly subscription.
[doublepost=1529604700][/doublepost]
subscribers will be able to add on a ticket for a non-MoviePass friend, the cost of which will be "somewhere near the retail price of the ticket."

If it’s around the same price then what’s the advantage of buying your friend's ticket through moviepass?
 
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DotCom2

macrumors 603
Feb 22, 2009
5,112
3,779
I signed up for the annual pass through Costco and they have indeed changed the terms several times on me. The seeing a certain movie more than once has changed back and forth as well as being put on "Ticket Verification". (where you must take a pic of your ticket or you will be cancelled), as well as their privacy policy. I love the concept but the Customer Service is one of the worst I have ever seen.
 
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FilmIndustryGuy

macrumors 6502a
May 12, 2015
589
360
Manhattan Beach, CA
Where I live, IMAX movies are $25 (Los Angeles) $20 a month is a great deal. I have the $90/year unlimited deal with MoviePass but would pay extra for IMAX and 3d for certain movies. You guys complaining are just victims of a psychological anchoring bias. You saw one number and now it’s unreasonable to see another number. I have money but refuse to put a 70 inch tv and speaker system in my personal space do to it getting me to waste my time away. Getting all the bells and whistles once in a while feels like a treat. I’d pay $50/month if they had some sort of bring a friend deal and IMAX included. Single guy date night stuff.
 

frankmcma

macrumors newbie
Mar 31, 2008
26
20
They keep changing the terms and I am considering dropping the whole service. First I signed up for monthly, then I wanted to do the yearly plan instead, their support said it was only for new members. Then I got an email saying I now have to take a photo of each ticket, something about me doing more work will help others who abuse the system.

Now I get changed $2 “and up” for...some movies? Very vague about when this will occur and what movies it happens with. Even the base $2 charge, at one new movie a week almost doubles my membership fee.

Add into the mix various technical issues like merely wanting to change my account email taking over a week of support exchanges.

MoviePass was a great deal at first, but I dread each news story or email I receive about them, usually it means I need to do more work or it’s going to cost me more money. I would rather they just raise the monthly fee to $15 or $20 or something and then I decide if I want to continue, instead of these gradual and frequent changes of terms I did not sign up for.
 
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JRoDDz

macrumors 68000
Jul 2, 2009
1,911
117
NYC
Everybody is trying to nickel and dime me to death. Sorry but no. You're not uber. Surge pricing. LOL
 
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