Love going to the movies, but don’t feel like spending an exorbitant amount of money, especially when streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime are so convenient and only cost a low, monthly fee to use? Well, a program called “MoviePass” may be just for you! Through MoviePass’s newest price drop, you can now see one movie at the cinema every single day of the month, for only $9.95 per month. The offer sounds too good to be true, and I honestly had a hard time believing it myself, but after some further research, it is completely true. The idea has been around since 2011, but originally featured a much higher subscription cost of $50 per month, which was still a good deal if you frequented the cinema. But now, in an effort to better promote their subscription service, MoviePass has lowered their costs. The way it works is that you are given a card that functions essentially as a debit card, then you pick a cinema, movie, date and showtime, and MoviePass loads enough money onto the card to cover the cost of the movie. You then show up, give them the card and you are good to go enjoy your movie! The service is available at 91% of theaters, including participating theater chains like Regal and AMC, as well as many indie cinemas. Business Insider writes “When you sign up for MoviePass, you get a debit card mailed to you. When you’re ready to see a movie, MoviePass will load that debit card with the full cost of the ticket, which you then pay the theater. The only cost you pay is your $10 a month to MoviePass.”
“What’s the catch?” you might ask. Well, there are only a few and they aren’t even that substantial. One is that you can only see each movie one time, which means sorry Star Wars fans, you can’t see The Last Jedi everyday for the presumable months that it will be in theaters. Also, if you are planning on using it the way you might use your Netflix account and share it with multiple people, you cannot, as it is linked directly to your smartphone. So make sure your friends know they can’t mooch off you! The last real catch is that you can’t buy tickets online, so you have to either go in ahead of time to your local cinema to get tickets, or you have to buy your tickets before the movie. Honestly though, considering the amazing deal you are getting, I think these are reasonable restrictions.
I think that most cinemas realize that much of their sales come from the food they sell and the advertisements they play before the movies. The average person only sees 5 films a year in cinemas, so cinemas should actually make a good profit from using MoviePass. It’s just like the classic case of paying for a buffet, but not actually eating enough food to make your money back, because you didn’t eat as much food as you paid for. You are more or less paying for the convenience, rather than the actual objects. But this way, even if people see more than the average 5 movies, it helps promote the cinema industry, which trends show is going the “Blockbuster route” in that streaming services are slowly making them obsolete through their convenient and cheap nature. MoviePass will bring in more customers to buy popcorn and other snacks, which will also encourage companies to want to run their advertisements in theaters, which all helps keep the cinema industry afloat. From the sound of it, it could be a “win-win” for cinephiles and movie theaters alike.