More pop corns and candy times ahead! If you are a movie buff, then this piece of news reported by Deadline could serve as cherry on the cake for you too. The theater going service MoviePass witnessed a surge in its membership with over 150,000 subscribers enrolling within just a couple of days, following the announcement of its price cut. In December 2016, MoviePass had just 20,000 subscribers. Movie lovers who have been spending considerable screen time at the MoviePass theaters couldn’t ask for more, as they now have to shell only $9.95 a month to use the screening services offered by the company. The investors of MoviePass have already reported mass influx of people into their theaters post this proclamation.
Founded in 2011, MoviePass, four years down the line, they announced lowering the cost of its unlimited monthly subscription on Aug 15. From as much as $50 per month rate, running in the most expensive cities to a nationwide flat rate of $9.95, the deal just works perfect to attract a greater footfall to the theaters in the Unites States. The company however clarified in a statement that the same pricing does not apply to the 3D and IMAX movie formats. The movie house ideates to offer its viewers more than one movie a day. The company told its subscribers that they could buy 30 movie tickets for the price of one with this current strategic price drop. MoviePass, so far has declined any explanation on how they seek to profit by selling memberships at such lower rates, triggering massive discourse and debate among allies and competitors in the sector.
The tiff: This has not gone down well with the country’s largest cinema chain though. AMC Theatres, said that this move made by MoviePass is rather a trick to block subscribers from using the MoviePass app to purchase tickets to its theatres. AMC disparaged MoviePass’s recent announcements, calling them “a small fringe player” and stated that their services were “not welcome here.” They also reported that lawyers were reviewing all options so as to bar subscribers from using facilities of MoviePass as this pricing approach could damage the film industry and its business in the long-term. AMC criticized further saying that MoviePass is a company that resells access to movies, by paying the full ticket price for a film and in the way makes cheaper tickets available to its subscribers. As compared to AMC’s average nationwide movie ticket price of $9.33, a MoviePass customer would be paying only 32 cents for a film. Though this appears to be a good deal when calculated as per ticket price, this move according to AMC is “not in the best interest of moviegoers, movie theaters and movie studios.” AMC’s disappointment over the issue surfaced in their statement, “the price is unsustainable and only sets up consumers for ultimate disappointment down the road if or when the product can be no longer fulfilled.” They reiterated that such pricing will not provide adequate revenue to operate and maintain quality theaters and will be a deterrent to the film makers with insufficient incentive generation, impacting production of “great new movies.” AMC and MoviePass had begun partnership in 2014. AMC screened movies for MoviePass subscribers across their theaters in Boston and Denver at rate of $35 – $45 a month. This was a much higher rate than what they currently offer.
Data comparison between the week before rate cut plan was announced and the six-day period thereafter, reports that the company observed a sudden surge in the number of seats booked by MoviePass subscribers. They cited a jump from 206 seats being sold to 4137 in one of their chains. In another they said the figure swelled from 203 to almost 1795 seats. However, MoviePass representatives could not confirm whether either of those chains where the seats upsurged was that operated by AMC Theaters.
Analytics firm, Helios and Matheson, that bought a majority stake in MoviePass, in August itself, said that the surge in the new subscription rate already surpasses the company’s membership projections through 2018. On a rather neutral note, spokesperson for MoviePass denied releasing any projections on the overall subscription. MoviePass mentioned the recent price cut as attracting droves of visitors to their website and app for latest update, in the process crashing both. They mentioned that this was posing technical difficulties in amassing newer subscribers from signing up smoothly. On Tuesday the firm disclosed that they were working on repairing their online contact points and by Wednesday they had promptly resumed services, ready to handle queries and feedback.
Until further news, it may not be a bad deal to enroll for some quality entertainment at a throw away price!
Article by Rochita.