In a struggle for survival, MoviePass will be hiking up monthly rates from $10 to $14.95 and will be further limiting access to blockbusters. The changes will come into force within 30 days.
MoviePass stirred up excitement amongst movie lovers by offering up an unparalleled deal: a movie a day for just $10 a month. Especially for broke college students without the funds to watch new releases in theaters, this offer was too good to pass up – or question the sustainability of, for that matter.
But alas, all that glitters is not gold. On the morning of July 31, MoviePass announced that the service will now cost $14.95 a month and some hit flicks will be “limited in their availability” to MoviePass users during the first two weeks of their release. The exact nature of these limitations is unclear.
For some customers, this news comes as no surprise. Users have reported that some pictures, such as Mission: Impossible — Fallout, have been unavailable through the service. Theater blackouts and surge pricing have also ruffled the feathers of subscribers.
To stem the cash drain, MoviePass has imposed surge pricing. Some film fans posted photos of themselves in near-empty theaters after having paid the levy. Even midday, weekday screenings of pictures that have been in theaters for weeks have been subject to price hikes of as much as $6. Last week, older movies like “Skyscraper” were subject to fees at non-peak hours.
In response to a customer query via its Twitter feed, Moviepass said that as the surcharge “is calculated by the demand of the film holistically, some theaters may be fuller than others.”
Helios and Matheson, MoviePass’s parent company, hoped that major studios and theaters would sign on to share the financial burden of their outlandish promise, but no such deals have come to fruition.
According to regulatory filings, the company has been spending $20 million to $40 million every month on their three million subscribers. On July 27, the company borrowed a whopping $5 million in cash to purchase movie tickets, which they have been paying for at full price. By July 29, company stock fell below $1-per share.
If you have a MoviePass subscription, this is the time to decide if you want to pull out now or sink with the ship.