MoviePass raises subscription price, limits first-run films

Cinemas News

Embattled subscription service MoviePass said on Tuesday it is raising its standard membership to $14.95 per month, a big jump on its current $9.95 pricing option.

"We will be raising our standard monthly price in the near future to continue providing an attractive service to our community while accelerating our path to profitability," the service said in a statement.

MoviePass addressed subscribers after they were unable to use their subscription cards Monday to purchase movie tickets, an outage that sent stock in parent Helios and Matheson into a freefall. The movie service also confirmed that it will limit access by subscribers to first-run movies opening on more than 1,000 screens "in the first few weeks," including Mission: Impossible—Fallout currently.

While insisting Mission: Impossible—Fallout would be made "available in the future" to subscribers, MoviePass gave no indication when. And the controversial service said it will better inform subscribers on which first-run movies will be out of bounds on their first few weekends at the multiplex so they can "make plans to see a different movie."

Upcoming releases like Disney's Christopher Robin and Warner Bros.' shark movie The Meg, to launch Aug. 10, are also expected to be off-limits to subscribers on opening weekends. And MoviePass said it could not guarantee there will be no future outages after earlier disruptions in its service.

"As we continue to evolve the service, certain movies may not always be available in every theatre on our platform. We are working to fine-tune this system and will have more to share in the coming weeks," the movie service said. MoviePass, addressing mounting complaints from subscribers, said it is "ironing out the details and algorithms of peak pricing, and as we’ve shared, consumers may experience peak pricing during typical non-peak hours."

The latest outage follows MoviePass introducing peak pricing, whereby it charges an estimated $2 to $6 extra if users wish to see the most popular movie titles at the most crowded showings. "This is not how the feature is intended to function moving forward, and we appreciate our members’ patience as we’re still in testing mode," the service said of its peak-pricing model.—The Hollywood Reporter