After an up and down 2018 that saw MoviePass explode with subscribers for its all-you-can-eat filmgoing package and then almost run out of money before finding a profit, it's changing things up as of January 1st, 2019. As explained to USA Today, Variety and the New York Times, starting in January MoviePass will move to a three-tiered subscription system:
- This plan ranges from $10 to $15 (varying depending on the area* -- cheaper in the Midwest vs. more expensive in NYC and LA) and roughly continues the existing $9.95 plan with three movies per month from a limited selection of movies and days to see them.
- All Access
- The step-up tier ranges from $15 to $20 and keeps the three movie limit, but subscribers can see any movie they want (at participating theaters), at any time, as long as it's not in 3D.
- Red Carpet
- The most expensive plan ranges from $20 to $25 per month, and includes access to one IMAX, 3D or other large-format screening per month as part of the three movies
- The pricing differences are split into three zones, with Zone 1 at the minimum level, Zone 2 in between at $3 extra for Select and All-Access and $2 extra for Red Carpet, and Zone 3 at the maximum prices listed above.
With the new pricing, MoviePass said it can break even on the cost of tickets, as opposed to its previous business model where it actually lost money when a customer used the plan. Of course, that's the balance that endeared it to customers for a time after it slashed prices last year. One thing it's trying to drum up business is a "Limited-Time Holiday Offer" selling All-Access or Red Carpet plans for a full year up front, with a discount offered to people who want to buy more than one ticket subscription. All-Access is $120 for 12 months and $99 for two or more, while Red Carpet costs $150 for a 12-month package, and $140 if you're buying two or more -- the offer is available starting today.
From its inception a few years ago the service had charged $50 and then $35 per month before setting things on fire last year. Now it's tough to see if people will stick around for a package that's not as favorable. Now with a new EVP, Khalid Itum, taking over daily operations from CEO Mitch Lowe, the company is focused on a more normal plan of trying to drive viewers into theaters at previously off-peak times, instead of simply underpinning an advertising operation based on analytics.