MoviePass, the $10 per month ‘all the movies you want to watch’ app and subscription service is changing the way it does business. Again.
MoviePass has rolled out new ‘surge pricing’ terms and now many MoviePass subscribers will have to pay more to see a movie on popular movie nights such as weekends. I tried it out over the weekend and found popular movies, even on Sunday night, cost $4.20. In other words, in addition to the $10 per month subscription, you’ll need to pay an additional $4 or so to see the popular movies on a weekend.
MoviePass stated that the new peak pricing feature is aimed at providing additional flexibility for its users on nights and times there are limited seats in a theater. Sunday evening when I checked my MoviePass app, most of the films being shown had a $4.20 surcharge. Even the 10pm showing of “Hotel Transylvania 3” included the surge pricing.
Older movies, those that have been in the theater for 2 weeks or more were still free with a MoviePass subscription, provided you have not seen it before.
MoviePass and its parent company are not doing well financially. The stock price, as of Monday afternoon was just 13-cents per share. Company president Mitch Lowe stated earlier this year that MoviePass is signing up 90,000 new subscribers each month.
The math is difficult to ignore. If a movie ticket sells for $10, and most evening tickets are in the $12 range, the MoviePass monthly subscription barely pays for the ticket. For every other movie a subscriber sees in a month, the company loses the dollar value of the ticket. If a subscriber sees 6 movies a month, they’re paying $10 but the company is paying theaters roughly $60. Multiply that by the 3 million subscribers and it’s easy to see why the company is losing money.
MoviePass had hoped to get deals from theater chains so it could purchase tickets at a lower price but that has not been the case as chains have not been eager to give the company discounts.