MoviePass, Sinemia, A-List & Beyond - Subscription Theatergoing

Call Me Darkman

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http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/moviepass-launches-all-you-can-watch-moviegoing-service-375659

The startup is rolling out its service nationwide with an offer of unlimited movie-going for less than $40 a month -- without any cooperation from exhibitors.

MoviePass, which offers all-you-can-watch movie-going for less than $40 a month, starts a limited national rollout Tuesday -- more than a year after a near-disastrous miscue, which was followed by a year of beta testing.

In July 2011, MoviePass started a test in the San Francisco Bay Area. “Some article mentioned that we were working in conjunction with AMC Theatres, which was not true,” says Stacy Spikes, CEO and co-founder of MoviePass.

That caused a backlash from the theater circuits, which had not been consulted in advance about the new offer, which would feed off their business. Things grew testy, and MoviePass pulled back.

The company shut down that test but took its list of interested potential customers with it. Within a short time in the Bay Area, it had attracted about 19,000 people who wanted to know more or sign up for the service. The team felt it had something but put the idea under review.

“We retooled the product,” says Spikes. “We reached out and had conversations with the chains, with the studios. We launched the test in September of last year and completed our closed private beta. We are coming out with this product based on that feedback.”

In response to a query about MoviePass from The Hollywood Reporter [5], a spokesman for AMC Theatres said, “AMC has no affiliation with MoviePass, and we’ve had no discussions with the company about participation." A spokesperson for Regal Theatres did not respond to a request for comment.

Launched in 2010, MoviePass doesn’t think it needs the theater operators' permission, even though Spikes keeps saying that they want to have a good relationship with exhibitors. Spikes, a former vp marketing at Miramax, leads the company that has raised $4.7 million from investors, including AOL Ventures, Lambert Media, True Ventures and Moxie Pictures.

Spikes insists they are doing theaters a huge favor by encouraging more frequent movie-going. “In our beta trial, we saw an increase in theater-going by 64 percent and increases in concessions by 123 percent,” says Spikes. “We found that because they weren’t coming on out-of pocket cash each visit, they tended to almost always purchase concessions. So we feel it’s a win-win for everyone.”

He says the company has seen its offer increase attendance, too. “In focus groups, people would say, 'Of course I was going to see The Dark Knight, but there was this other film, and maybe I would not have gone to see that, which I did see,' " Spikes recalls. "And that was the fundamental difference. They were willing to take a risk because they were no longer thinking, 'How much do I need to come out of pocket for this movie?' And that is where we think you see MoviePass make a fundamental difference.”

The price for MoviePass ranges from $24.99 to $39.99 per month per person, depending on the geographic area, because ticket prices vary around the country. The national MoviePass average is $29.99. The customer gets a special credit card in the mail, but the key is in wireless.

“It has to work with an app in your smartphone,” Spikes explains. “You can walk into any theater that accepts major credit cards and check in. You can go to the kiosk or the counter, and you can buy a ticket. It knows whether you’re in that theater or not. If you aren’t within 100 yards of that venue, it won’t work."

It is the app that goes on the market for the first time Tuesday. Subscriptions are by invitation. Spikes says that includes current members and 75,000 on the company's waiting list. Each person can then invite 10 more movie lovers to subscribe as well.

For Christmas, the company will do a big push to encourage people to make MoviePass a gift for friends and neighbors, pre-loaded for a month, 90 days or a year for all-you-can-watch theater attendance, with a limit of one movie each day.

At the theater, the card will work on the same credit card machine and processor as Visa, MasterCard and Discover, so MoviePass expects theaters to treat it as just another card. The theater is paid full price for the tickets purchased. They just aren’t consulted in advance.

So how will MoviePass make money? “Everybody doesn’t go the movie every single day,” says Spikes. “We found in our beta trials that there are people who over-use the service and people who under-use the service. Overall, there is a balancing act. There isn’t an infinite number of movies or unlimited time to go to the movies. We found in our research that we have an economic model that works, and that’s why we’re moving forward with the next phase.”
 
Not worth it to me. I see maybe 2 movies a month if that.
 
hmm That sounds cool actually, If i had a pass I would go more.. You could drop 40 bucks on 2 tickets and a coke alone.
 
It's not a bad deal but most people don't go to the movies that often.
 
Not worth it for me...My wife and I only spend like $15 for a movie...we usually go to the first showing of the day.
 
hmm That sounds cool actually, If i had a pass I would go more.. You could drop 40 bucks on 2 tickets and a coke alone.

MoviePass only covers the tickets. You would still have to purchase food and drinks separately. Regardless, I get your point. Where I live, two adults tickets cost $22 total. So, even if you went to the movie theaters only twice-a-month, like chaster, you'd still save money.
 
We'll see how it works out.
 
My interest in this service has definitely gone up. Is it something movie theaters have agreed to
 
OTOH, unless the theaters do agree to it eventually, I don't think it can succeed financially. In theory, the benefit for MoviePass is the ability to negotiate favorable bulk rates ( and likely other bennies ) for their membership. The benefit for the theaters would be a large body of regular movie-goers, as well as the marketing power of the central MoviePass company encouraging people to go to movies more often. None of that can happen unless MoviePass can actually achieve a critical mass of members, though, and until they reach that critical mass, they are going to bleed money.
 
Is it something movie theaters have agreed to

Nope. Essentially, they give you a credit card and they'll pay the bill. Their revenue comes from your membership fee. Whether or not they make a profit depends on how much people end up spending.
 
I hope it does work because id do it in a heartbeat
 
I signed up for an invite so apparently you have to wait until whenever.
 
Nope. Essentially, they give you a credit card and they'll pay the bill. Their revenue comes from your membership fee. Whether or not they make a profit depends on how much people end up spending.

Depends on the type of card. If it's easily identifiable, AMC or Cinemark, whomever, could ban that card.

I don't see why the theaters would have a problem with it...they will still get their money unless this company goes bankrupt. I also don't see how this company is going to make money unless they team up with theaters to provide them breaks in ticket costs or if their membership requires a 6 month or 12 month commitment.

Essentially, why wouldn't someone just sign up in say August, watch all the big summer movies in a month, then sign up again in say December.
 
I'd get it mostly for summers,I don't have a cell phone though and so It'd suck IF I couldn't get a membership cause I can't use an app on a smartphone!!
 
Of course it is. :rolleyes:
 
Here what I kind of dont get about this,, just seems like a double edge sword..

If this movie pass does take off, whats to prevent the theater itself from doing the same thing? In other words just cut out the middle man. I do get the movie pass is more broad,, but who really travels around to a bunch of different theaters? Probably to few to make a big profit out of.
 
I pretty much only ever go to a Regal/United Artists theater when I'm home, if I'm visiting my parents it's AMC though. I'd go to way more movies if I had what amounts to a one time payment flat rate. Way more.
 
$40 a month? Even if I saw four movies within a month -- in my area and at my theater, it wouldn't be close to $40. It'd be more like $21-$32 if they were all 2D pics.
 
$40 a month? Even if I saw four movies within a month -- in my area and at my theater, it wouldn't be close to $40. It'd be more like $21-$32 if they were all 2D pics.

I imagine in your area with your theater pricing, the monthly fee would be more like the 25 than the 40.
 
I go to the movies every weekend, sometimes twice in a week if it's something I want to see, so it would help.
 
I imagine in your area with your theater pricing, the monthly fee would be more like the 25 than the 40.

True. But for the most part I work at a theater, and I only pay if I want to see a new release on opening weekend (or day). I'm pretty much going by what the usual loyal patron pays for admission, provided they show up every weekend (and omitting any repeat viewings or concessions added on).
 
I think they really need to come up with a Family Plan. To take a family of 4 or 5 to a theater is a huge financial commitment. Netflix helps with that.
 

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