New Jack City: If It Sounds Too Good To Be True…

When I first heard of MoviePass the idea behind it made no sense to me…

But with Netflix co-founder Mitch Lowe behind the subscription-based ticketing firm, it prompted me to rethink the concept.

And guess what, by late December 2017 MoviePass had already signed up more than a million subscribers. 

Here’s how it works.

For just $ 9.95 a month your MoviePass loaded membership/Mastercard allows you to attend any movie theater near you. But just one movie per day, please.

And you can opt out of the program monthly.

So technically if you were to attend 365 showings a year at $ 9.95 per month your total annual cost would be only $ 119.40.

Not bad, huh?

Now compare that 365 day example to an average admission price of $ 8.00 and you’d be looking at $ 2,920.00 if your tickets were purchased individually at the box office.

Wouldn’t MoviePass lose a bundle of money on the concept since they reimburse  the theaters at their full face ticket value on which they then pay film rental to the studios?

Yes, indeed.

However just like anything else, the original urge by subscribers to go see EVERYTHING fades after a while. And before you know it, it’s down to just one movie a week—or even less.

So probably at best the business model of the company is to break even—but that’s just my guess.

So how will MoviePass make money?

By selling—or better sharing—valuable customer data with movie studios and distributors who then could target subscribers with direct and specific marketing tools for their films. MoviePass allegedly has already a number of studios signed up.

What’s more  the concept could also be extended to other entertainment-related businesses like the local theaters you attend most frequently. Or maybe include nearby restaurants for, say, a dinner and a movie special.

The bottom line: 91% of the nation’s theaters are participating and/or are accepting the MoviePass program and frankly I haven’t found one locally that isn’t.

It should be noted that there are a few exceptions to the program!

MoviePass CANNOT be used for admission to 3-D screenings or at so-called ‘Premium Large Screen’ auditoriums or IMAX showings.

For complete information on this nationwide cut-rate program or to sign up simply go to moviepass.com.

Was I initially skeptical about MoviePass?

Sure, just like many movie exhibitors were.

That said, for movie fans it’s like a gift from a celluloid god because you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to SAVE!

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8 Responses to New Jack City: If It Sounds Too Good To Be True…

  1. CG says:

    Jack its a great deal of course…with most of movie going folks located outside of the United States it might help get more people interested in going out to see a movie…Hope so.

  2. jon says:

    You sure this isn’t a pyramid scheme?

  3. PJB says:

    I got my MoviePass when the company ran a speciall for an $89.99 annual pass back in November. With all the holiday and awards season movies, I have already broke even and I am now well in the black.

    A few theatre managers showed disdain when I have presented my MoviePass debit card and would not let me apply my purchase towards their loyalty program, but I think it is much ado about nothing on the exhibtor’s part. In my opinion, I think these individuals are short sided.

    While I will still be seeing my average of one movie a week, I now will visit their theatre to see films I typically would not pay to see; most recently these fringe (for me) films included Father Figures, The Commuter, and Proud Mary. I have returned to see films like The Shape of Water multiple times. Without MoviePass, that screening of Wonder Wheel would have be empty.

    With me (and others) visiting the theatre more often, chances are (and have been) that moviegoers will visit the concession stands and bars while there. Why the exhibitors are balking at the business that MoviePass is bringing them on the short term makes little sense.

    • Phaedrus says:

      Something doesn’t make sense. Why would theater managers show disdain for movie pass members if movie pass is reimbursing them for the full price of the ticket?

      I can’t believe movie pass could come close to breaking even if they have to reimburse the full price to theaters. Netflix (and gyms) can make money because the heavy users don’t have much variable cost. In other words, Netflix didn’t have to buy a new dvd every time someone rented one and a gym doesn’t have to buy another exercise bike just because one of its members goes everyday.

      In movie pass’s case, it does have to pay full price for each additional visit.

      • jack p. says:

        Seems like AMC’s upper management shares some of your thinking because they didn’t really ‘encourage’ the MoviePass program. But they’re accepting them at their theatres!

      • PJB says:

        My guess of why they are balking is that they are under-educated about the product and assume that I, the consumer, or MoviePass, the vendor, is cheating them somehow.

  4. Kerouac says:

    “the original urge by subscribers to go see EVERYTHING fades after a while. And before you know it, it’s down to just one movie a week—or even less.”

    – the ‘pee-yew factor’ contributing: movies today some 4 x better (“average admission $8.00”) by extension/nod the math than 40 years ago, the cost of buying an audience indicates it is not a sellers market any longer – price to pay business of entertainment, century 21.

    As yesteryear sports biased Kerouac’s allure anything followed, so too if lesser extent film yore compared more recent bioscope (not to be confused with bioscopy – though modern cinema qualifies tantamount examination a body of work in search a sign of life any, my opine.)

    Call me a dinosaur (you’ll feel better): the last under roof bijou Kerouac breached was 1977, ‘Star Wars’: two bucks and a quarter. Just under half a sawbuck an final drive-in flick, 1990’s marathon ‘Dances With Wolves’ (I drove out half way through… ‘reading’ War & Peace was bad enough the first time, no need suffer its inexorable crawl on the silver/this case white screen.)

    Only other moving picture extricated self from before roll the final credits: ‘The Hill’, a 1965 time waster which did not move me, despite its (still) cult-like cadre of adherents to this day Britain; had I paid the dollar admission that day long ago (didn’t, result my working at the theater pre-teen cleaning up after the slobs- er, ‘patrons’ who left their wet & sticky carnage behind on the floor), would I have been more disappointed still?

    Would have.

    Which reminds me: nod ‘things you couldn’t understand’ and ‘shouldn’t understand’: parents who allowed their progeny watch ‘Pee-Wee’ Herman’s ‘Big Adventure’ 1985, must be mentioned. Kerouac, enlisted transport and monitor the viewing with them, was in charge a gaggle giggling goobers pre-adolescent… ‘Pee Wee’ was funny in the same way your ex and Judge divorce court are ‘when all the laughter dies in sorrow’, least according those who loved and lost have told me… your mileage may vary.

    Upshot: consistently good movies (as tv, sports, cars & manners) exited the premises as the 1960’s begat the 1970’s and gave way aft what has followed its wake (affirming it is better to watch anything in the comfort & relative peace of your own home, than venturing into the crush and battlefield of today) – happy movie going and SHHHH! –
    down in front.

    😎

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