MoviePass is somehow still trucking. With the five dollars in spare change its investors found under the couch cushions, the company’s making another go of it. They’ll now be relaunching the service with new pricing schemes that make more fiscal sense, but it’s very likely too little too late.
Their new plan, for what it’s worth, will be tiered and based on geographic location. This will see moviegoers in the Midwest pay $9.95 to see three movies a month. There’s a catch, of course. In typical MoviePass fashion, they state that these movies will be available through the service “at some point during their theatrical run.” That sounds a lot like blackout dates and times are still going to be in full effect. This is the lowest tier, and it’s titled “select.”
For their very flashy “red carpet” plan, Midwest folks can pay $19.95 to watch three movies a month in IMAX, 3D, and other premium formats. There’s no mention of this plan allowing subscribers to see movies in those formats whenever they want, however. For city slickers in areas where tickets are more expensive, the “select” plan will run $14.95, and the “red carpet” will cost $24.95.
MoviePass also stated that they’re looking into doing “some kind” of unlimited plan that would let subscribers use MoviePass the way it was originally set up to be used at some point down the road. They’re not even talking a ballpark for what something like that would cost someone in this very much post-MoviePass world. To its credit, the service blasted a crater into the way people go to the movies, forever changing the landscape. The issue is that the only thing MoviePass destroyed was itself.
Now, with AMC offering an all around better alternative and more theaters to presumably follow suit, MoviePass will likely find it tough to stand on its own two feet.
MoviePass Executive VP Khalid Itum shared a sort of beautiful sentiment, though, saying, “Our new business strategy is stabilize, optimize, and grow.” This isn’t notable for the fact that most of the statement is a mishmash of troubling tech industry magic words meant to snare investors and exploit users. No, it’s really just for the word “new.” As we all slowly drag ourselves through the late Capitalism hellscape that’s come to consume global economies, the fact that one company for one brief flash of time didn’t realize that its only goal should be to eat as much of the universe as possible is like a rose in ruins and worth a moment’s appreciation.
Seriously though, don’t go back to MoviePass. It went from being too-good-to-be-true straight down to more-awful-than-expected over the course of a year, and their new language still leaves room open for plenty of the same fuckery. And what’s most shocking is that they don’t even offer a couples or family plan. Most people don’t go to the movies alone, and this is a key market that seems to be largely ignored. Even if it was the same price to see one movie a month for up to four people, some could find it to be worth the money. Right now, MoviePass has their same old deal but with a different bow slapped on top.
Let’s just remember MoviePass for the bright and glorious thing it was and never, ever, ever go back to it.