MoviePass is hoping that its 2019 is a fresh start after a rocky 2018. If you flip through our archive of MoviePass news, you’ll see how the company was lambasted last summer for “high demand” charges, followed by a policy to blackout new releases — something it reversed almost immediately after backlash to that and its price hike. Then, as MoviePass subscribers were leaving in droves, the company put into place a sketchy practice that made users unknowingly re-subscribe, with the fine print that they could not then cancel. MoviePass then went back to restricting which movies customers could see, which makes it of little surprise that a survey on the subject found that most subscribers don’t trust the service.
So, yeah, it’s been rough. But as Variety reports, “Instead of casting itself as a disruptor, MoviePass is striking, in [executive VP of MoviePass Khalid Itum’s] words, a ‘more humble’ posture.” A new “let’s go to the movies” campaign is part of a change in strategy for its pricing that the company hopes will help it become more sustainable and keep subscribes relatively happy:
This month, MoviePass introduced a new series of plans, which vary in price depending on location. In the middle of the country, where tickets are cheaper, a monthly deal stars at $9.95 and allows customers to see three movies per month at some point during their theatrical run. That plan has been christened “select.” The most expensive plan, known as “red carpet,” costs $19.95 lets people see any three movies of their choosing at any time and in IMAX, 3D, and other premium formats. In major cities, where tickets are more expensive, costs range from $14.95 for the “select” plan to $24.95 for the “red carpet” package. Next week, Itum said MoviePass plans to reintroduce some sort of unlimited program that would enable users to see as many movies as they wanted each month. He did not reveal pricing for that plan.
That kind of dynamic pricing does make a lot more sense than a blanket $9.99 plan for every theater across the country, and it could still be a significant savings for frequent moviegoers.
Itam told the publication, “I feel like we’re turning a corner […] Our new business strategy is stabilize, optimize, and grow.”