Movie-ticketing service company MoviePass recently has made a number of changes to its subscription plans in order to stay financially stable, with the latest strategy offering its customers only three movies per month.
That’s a big difference for the company’s more than 3 million customers, who were once able to watch one movie every day for just $9.95 a month. While the company has become a major player in the film industry, the future profitability of its business model is being questioned.
On July 27, MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe sent out letters to subscribers about more changes to their subscription plans, saying that customers wouldn’t be able to see major movies during opening weekend without paying an extra fee.
“Rather than raise the price of the subscription, we’ve decided to enable all of you to have the choice between high value (ability to see up to one movie a day) at a low cost ($9.95) versus the flexibility to see whichever movie you want, wherever and whenever you want to see it,” stated the letter.
Also, tickets to blockbuster films like “Mission Impossible 6” and “Christopher Robin,” opening on more than 1,000 screens, will be limited for two weeks following the films’ releases.
“These changes are meant to protect the longevity of our company and prevent abuse of the service.,” Lowe said in the press release. “While no one likes change, these are essential steps to continue providing the most attractive subscription service in the industry.”
The company, owned by Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc., then said in a release on Aug. 6, that it would limit the number of movies its subscribers could see to three in a month and go back to the old price.
“Beginning August 15, 2018, MoviePass subscribers will transition to the new plan upon their renewal, which gives subscribers up to three movies a month for $9.95, and up to a $5.00 discount for any additional movie tickets,” the statement read.
MoviePass will also only allow about six movies to be available for viewing each day, and these will change daily. The schedule of the available films will be published at least a week ahead of time on its website to allow customers to plan ahead.
In addition, MoviePass said that based on its research, only 15 percent of its customers went to four or more movies a month, and they hoped that the new model wouldn’t greatly affect the other 85 percent of its subscribers. Many customers have complained about the new plan on social media and canceled their subscriptions.
AMC, the world’s largest theater chain, recently started its own monthly subscription service. For $19.95 a month, customers can watch up to three movies a week, but only at AMC theaters.
With advance reservations and premium showings included, the AMC Stubs A-List plan is giving MoviePass some strong competition.