Love going to the movies, but hate the price? This subscription service from the co-founder of Netflix could be just the ticket to get you into all the latest blockbusters — and the price just dropped dramatically.
On Tuesday, MoviePass unveiled a new subscription price — $9.95 a month — where consumers can visit any one of 4,000 affiliated theaters and watch one film a day.
That costs roughly $1 more ($8.65) than the average movie ticket in the U.S. last year, based on data from the National Association of Theater Owners.
The venture is led by Mitch Lowe, the co-founder of Netflix and former president of the movie rental service Redbox.
"MoviePass was founded to make it easier for passionate moviegoers and casual fans to see films the way they’re meant to be seen — in the theater," said Lowe in a statement.
Here's what you need to know about MoviePass:
The concept has been around a while
Launched in 2010, the company formed a partnership with AMC Theatres — the largest theater chain in the U.S. — four years later on a premium subscription model with plans up to $45 a month.
Last year, Lowe was named chief executive officer of MoviePass, and pushed for more competitive pricing plans starting as low as $15 a month.
On Tuesday, MoviePass revealed data firm Helio and Matheson Analytics Inc. would acquire a majority stake in the service, and introduced their single $9.95-a-month plan.
How do I use it?
When you sign up, MoviePass sends you a card within 5-7 business days. Then you download the service's app on either iPhone or Android devices to find nearby theater showtimes.
Users receive their tickets two ways: either as an e-ticket popping up within the app, or the service loads funds to your account and you pay through your MoviePass card. In both cases, you check in at the box office to claim your ticket.
If you have friends on MoviePass, the app includes a social feature where you can invite friends to a showtime.
A lot of theaters are backing this
MoviePass says it's accepted at 91% of theaters across the country. Within the app, users type in their zip code to find the nearest location.
Is there a catch?
The MoviePass only applies to "one standard 2D movie every calendar day at any participating theater," according to their website. The service doesn't currently support "special or enhanced screenings" like 3D or IMAX. And you can't use funds on MoviePass toward a special screening. "Using your card to purchase a different ticket is against our terms & conditions, which can result in your account cancellation."
Fans already crashed the site
Clearly, consumers are extremely excited about this subscription, because soon after details were revealed, the site and app crashed.
We're pumped that you're excited about our $9.95 plan!! Thx for your patience as we work to get the site/app back up and running! pic.twitter.com/f43FhqmtZN— MoviePass (@MoviePass) August 15, 2017
Not everyone is happy about MoviePass
Specifically, AMC Theatres. The mammoth movie theater chain says it is "consulting with its attorneys to determine if or how AMC can prevent a subscription program offered by MoviePass from being used."
The company says the subscription price, slightly higher than the $9.33 per ticket AMC charges on average, will hurt theaters and film makers.
"That price level is unsustainable and only sets up consumers for ultimate disappointment down the road if or when the product can no longer be fulfilled," said AMC in a statement.
So is this really worth it?
It appears to be a pretty amazing offer. But are there enough movies out every month if you are a diehard movie watcher who plans to make full use of the "one movie a day" offering? Even if you watch, say, 10 movies a month, that's still enticing. Hope you like popcorn and Sno-Caps.