MoviePass cuts plan to three movies a month

Cinemas News

MoviePass has changed its plan yet again, this time down reducing the number of movies a subscriber can see to three movies per month. The embattled company also announced on Monday that it is abandoning a price increase to $14.99 a month, and keeping it at $9.95.

"Beginning August 15, 2018, MoviePass subscribers will transition to the new plan upon their renewal, which gives subscribers up to three movies a month for $9.95, and up to a $5.00 discount for any additional movie tickets," Helios and Matheson Analytics, the parent company of the struggling movie subscription and ticketing service, said in a statement on Monday.

The latest pricing model for MoviePass follows a cash crunch for Helios and Matheson and a plunge in its share price, a steep fall for MoviePass after it launched a year ago by offering as many as 30 tickets a month to the local cinema for the price of one. Despite the cratering share price and Wall Street concluding MoviePass is running on fumes and not expected to survive, Helios and Matheson with its new plan restored major studio first-run films and suspended peak pricing and ticket verification after a series of subscriber complaints.

"We have heard our MoviePass community and we will not be raising prices to $14.95 a month," the MoviePass parent said after unveiling the price hike last week. The new plan is aimed at around 85% of MoviePass subscribers who typically see three movies or fewer a month.

MoviePass proposed raising its price from $10 per month to $15 a month, and continuing to block many major new releases.

But Ted Farnsworth, chairman and CEO of Helios and Matheson, in a statement said the service aims instead with its new plan to strip out a minority of heavy moviegoers from its customer base.

"...One year and 3 million plus members later, it has become clear that a small number—only 15 percent—of the subscriber base has been stressing the system." Removing the minority of subscribers who see more than three movies a month will reduce stress on MoviePass' business model and allow long-term stability, the struggling service is betting.

Monthly subscribers can subscribe to the new plan when their existing plan is up for renewal. Annual subscribers will not be affected by the latest plan and pricing changes until their own renewal dates. And any subscriber can cancel at anytime.

"Additionally, the new plan addresses past misuses which imposed undue costs on the system, including ticket scalping, unauthorized card usage and other activities, which in the past necessitated the use of certain remedial measures that have sometimes been inconvenient for our subscribers," the statement from Helios and Matheson said.—The Hollywood Reporter