MoviePass is a perfect example of a great idea that has been ruined by a bunch of people who have no idea how to treat their customers. My history with MoviePass (not that you care) has been tumultuous, to say the least. When I first signed up last year, it took me 5 or 6 months to receive my card, and I was being charged during this time. (they did eventually refund me)
I actually talked to the CEO Mitch Lowe, and he basically took no responsibility for it, and even suggested I might have given them the wrong address. I hadn’t, and the card randomly showed up one day after I had lost all hope.
Since then, I have been using the card and loving it. $9.95 for unlimited movies? It was truly a dream for this movie lover, but now it’s turning back into a nightmare. The parent company behind MoviePass is out of money. They had to get an emergency loan last week to stay afloat after the service shutdown for a day and then blocked its users from seeing Mission: Impossible — Fallout all weekend.
MoviePass refused to admit their financial troubles to their customers. Instead, they blamed everything on “technical difficulties,” but now that it’s impossible to deny, the CEO decided to send out a press release.
In the release, Lowe announced they will increase the monthly price to $14.95 within the next 30 days. In addition to the price increase, they will also control what movies you can watch. Wide release films (like Mission: Impossible) will only be viewable on a limited basis during the first two weeks of release.
They will also keep going with surge pricing, even though that has proven to be a complete disaster. I told you when they first announced surge pricing that I was worried they would abuse it and put the surge on movies that aren’t even in demand, and they have been doing just that for the past week. This past weekend, every single film in theaters had an $8 surge price.
And so how is MoviePass spinning this? Well, they claim this is their attempt to “enhance discovery, and to drive attendance to smaller films and bolster the independent film community,” which is absolute bullsh*t.
Look. I hate the recent trend of Superhero films taking over the box office. I hate that a new ‘Fast & Furious‘ movie comes out every other year. I find it odd that Disney basically controls Hollywood now. It’s all scary and frustrating.
The majority of movies I see inside theaters are indie films, but I don’t for one minute believe MoviePass gives two sh*ts about independent film. If that were the case, they would have stuck with their original pricing plan. Instead, they dropped it to $9.95 because they had dreams of becoming the Netflix of the movie-ticket subscription service world.
They failed. Hard. And now they’re trying to keep their head above water.