Many have recently remarked about the recent MoviePass shenanigans.
MoviePass, which began in 2011, became much more popular about a year ago when it offered any movie each day, or any 28-31 movies, for around $10 each month. That was the point I became a subscriber. Since then, it has adjusted its terms, which this week became “up to three standard movies,” including some but not all “major studio first-run films,” and “up to $5.00 discount to any additional movie tickets” each month.
The MoviePass service has changed, in other words, from around 30 to as many as 3 movies with a discount for more and from any movie to some movies for the same price. In effect, its app only offered access to 5 of 21 different movies at a nearby theater, and only 8 of 18 showings of these, earlier this week although its selections and times expanded later this week. However, its website is still offering a movie a day for less than $10 each month as of this morning.
MoviePass now has problems, among others, with predictability and perception. Regardless of any future changes in its service terms, I must now plan around limitations in ways that I haven’t had to do in the past year, and I’ll need to confirm any plans before actually leaving for a movie theater to ensure that nothing changed in the time between planning and leaving. At the same time, I realize that three movies plus subsequent discounts for $10 a month, I realize, still represents some savings but less than previously provided, which, no matter how I consider it, seems like a loss.
Maybe this relationship was good while it lasted, and maybe needn’t end — a student-run venture capital fund has reportedly offered to help MoviePass survive — but maybe another — AMC Stubs A-List? — would be better.