The ongoing MoviePass drama continues this week — the firm is working hard to regain its footing after a destabilizing few months.
The company announced that the 50 percent price hike it announced last week is off the table, but that it will be imposing new limits onto customer subscriptions.
As of August 15, subscribers will be able to see three movies per month for $9.95, and purchase additional tickets though the MoviePass app for a $2 – $5 discount. The newest version of the plan will also end “peak pricing,” where desirable showtimes cost a few bucks more. Those who paid for a full-year subscription will still have the option to see unlimited films per month.
The ever shifting terms of service — not to mention rising concerns that the firm is rapidly running out of money — have taken a harsh toll on MoviePass in recent weeks and months. MoviePass’ parent company, Helios and Matheson Analytics, has seen falling stock rates, and its cash burn rate has been deemed alarming by most who have watched the situation unfold.
As July came to a close, the firm endured a multiple-hour outage that was originally blamed on a technical glitch — when, more accurately, it had simply run out of funds and needed to take a $5 million emergency loan at a high interest rate to pay back key partners and get back up and running.
According to MoviePass’ data, about 85 percent of their subscribers see three movies or less a month — though they do have power users that see many, many more.
After taking out its emergency loan, the company had initially announced it was going to spike its price by 50 percent to $14.95 per month, and limit users’ choices to movies that have been out in theaters for more than two weeks, in most cases. The changes were less than lauded by its subscribers.
“Dear @MoviePass, [how] do u expect people will subscribe [to] u [when] u: 1. Raise monthly [fees], 2. Restrict movies ... users want to see, 3. Keep showtimes after 9 [p.m.] for available movies. Either u r stupid or think people r stupid. For [$5] xtra, all will [choose] @AMCTheatres,” wrote one angry Twitter user, referring to AMC’s competing movie subscription plan, AMC Stubs.
Though its customers may be less than delighted, investors are feeling good about MoviePass making some changes to its platform as it tries to stay afloat in a field littered with an increasing number of competitors, from the likes of AMC, the Alamo Drafthouse and Sinemia.
MoviePass saw its stock hit a new all-time low point last week — 7 cents a pop — but, the revision jumped the price up to 12 cents. Granted, 12 cents not a figure to write home about, but it is an almost 50 percent jump in a single day.
Can MoviePass get back on track? Hard to say — but it is clear MoviePass is going to give it its all.