[This is an update on a story written last week]
Less than two weeks ago, MoviePass ran out of money. The service which allows customers to see up to one movie per day for a low monthly subscription price of $9.95 was buying tickets at full price and burning through cash. They were able to offset some of those costs with advertising, and by partnering with studios to drive customers to specific films. But it wasn't nearly enough.
After securing a short term loan to stay afloat, MoviePass started blocking big movies and popular showtimes, and they also put some ridiculous Peak Pricing fees into effect -- as much as $8 per movie. And while surge pricing was intended to push up the price for popular showtimes, it was also used at movies where literally one person showed up to watch!
The service has been spotty since the cash crunch, as well, with MoviePass restricting access. At one point this past Saturday, I counted the number of shows MoviePass would let me see with their service at the Regal Stadium 18 (formerly the Hollywood); they had just eight showtimes available. The theater still had 58 showtimes left in the day, so MoviePass was keeping customers away from the vast majority.
Then last week, they announced a whole bunch of new measures -- including a price increase to $14.95, restricted access to new movies playing on more than 1000 screens, etc.
That was last week, and this week, the company has changed directions again. Gone is the price increase, but also gone are the virtually unlimited movies. (Not technically unlimited, but when you can see nearly every movie that's released one time, good enough!) On Monday, they sent customers an email with an entirely new pricing plan.
Under the new pricing plan, you will be able to see three movies per month for $9.95. And if you want to see more, they'll give you a $5 discount on each additional film. And it only took one month for them to give up on Peak Pricing. This is fair, and it actually may be sustainable for the company, if it's not already too late for them.