×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

MoviePass Goes Back to Offering Movie-A-Day Monthly Plan

MoviePass will once again allow customers to sign up for its popular movie-a-day monthly subscription package after briefly taking the offering off of its website, Variety has learned.

Since April 13, MoviePass has only been offering a promotional $29.95 three-month plan. That only allowed users the freedom to see four movies a month, but it threw in a free trial of iHeartRadio’s All Access on-demand streaming package. The move set off alarm bells that MoviePass might be running out of money — fears that were amplified after an independent auditor publicly raised questions about the service’s ability to continue operating.

“We never planned to abandon the flagship product that everybody loves,” said MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe in an interview. “Any time we’ve done a promotional package, we’ve taken the monthly plan off our site.”

That seems to be a different position than the one Lowe espoused last week. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Lowe said he didn’t know if MoviePass would go back to offering a movie a day. But the MoviePass head said he didn’t want to limit interest in the iHeartRadio promotional package by tipping his hand.

“It’s marketing 101,” he said. “We wanted to focus everybody on this partnership promotion. If people knew the [movie-a-day] plan was coming back, they might not be interested in the iHeartRadio deal.”

MoviePass’ business model has left some scratching their heads. The company pays movie theaters full price for the tickets its customers buy, so it is essentially subsidizing their movie-going at a loss to its own bottom line. MoviePass claims that it will eventually be able to monetize its more than two million subscribers by running ads, partnering with theater chains, or figuring out a way to make a profit on the data it collects on its users.

Despite the auditor’s negative report, Lowe said he isn’t worried and downplayed the conclusions.

“That’s just really relative to how much cash we have at any one time in the bank,” Lowe said. “We have a constantly evolving business model. We’re getting more and more occasional moviegoers and cutting back on fraud and abuse. I feel very confident about our trend lines and I know we’re going to continue as a going concern and continue to be popular.”

Lowe recently came back from CinemaCon, the annual exhibition industry trade show that took place last week in Las Vegas. When theater owners expressed skepticism about his ability to stay in business, he said he had a simple message for them: “See you in 2019.”

The changing plans weren’t the only thing that upset some users. MoviePass announced this month that it will not allow users to see the same movie twice. Lowe said the company is changing its rules to prevent fraud. He said the company believes that some families are using one card among each family members, and speculated that some users are buying tickets to popular movies with their MoviePass cards and then turning around and scalping the tickets to make money.

“A small percentage of people are abusing the system,” he said. “By doing this we can continue to provide a great service.”

POPULAR ON VARIETY.COM:

More Film

  • Margot Robbie Big Ticket Podcast

    Margot Robbie Was 'Pretty Rattled' After Reading the 'Bombshell' Script for the First Time

    Margot Robbie took to Twitter to prepare for her role as a conservative news producer and aspiring broadcast journalist for Fox News in “Bombshell.” “Understanding her upbringing and her point of view on politics in the world, that really took me a minute,” Robbie says on today’s episode of “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeart’s [...]

  • Randy Newman My First Time

    My First Time in Variety: Randy Newman

    “What?! My god.” This is Randy Newman’s reaction upon learning of the first time he ever appeared in the pages of Variety, back in May of 1965. That was three years before he released his first album as a singer-songwriter, at which point he began steadily accruing fans of his warped musical character sketches until [...]

  • Kiri Hart Stephen Feder Ben LeClair

    Rian Johnson, Ram Bergman Expand T-Street With Producer Trio

    Rian Johnson and Ram Bergman are expanding their T-Street studio with Lucasfilm veterans Kiri Hart and Stephen Feder, along with Ben LeClair. Johnson is best known for directing and writing 2017’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which Bergman produced with Kathleen Kennedy. The duo is teamed via T-Street on the upcoming “Knives Out,” starring Daniel [...]

  • Branko Lustig

    Branko Lustig, 'Schindler's List' Producer and Holocaust Survivor, Dies at 87

    Holocaust survivor and Academy Award winner Branko Lustig, who nabbed best picture Oscars for “Schindler’s List” and “Gladiator,” has died at his home in Croatia. He was 87. His death was announced on the website for Festival of Tolerance, which Lustig oversaw as president since 2008. Lustig was born in Osijek, Yugoslavia, in 1932 to [...]

  • Frozen 2

    ‘Frozen 2’ Reviews: What the Critics Are Saying

    Early reviews are in for the highly anticipated “Frozen 2,” and the sequel stands its ground amid lukewarm responses. Currently sitting at 82% on Rotten Tomatoes, “Frozen 2” has released to mixed reactions, the main sentiment being that while the film is unnecessary, Disney has released another money-maker that knows how to satisfy its audience. [...]

  • The Way Back Trailer

    'The Way Back' Trailer: Ben Affleck Struggles With Addiction in Basketball Drama

    Ben Affleck struggles with sobriety in Warner Bros.’ first trailer for his sports drama “The Way Back.” Affleck plays construction worker Jack Cunningham, who has a routine of drinking at every opportunity — in the shower, at work and at home. That routine is interrupted when he’s asked to coach the high school basketball team [...]

  • Mark Koven Music

    Film Composers Tap Into Offbeat Inspirations for Scores

    An electro-acoustic cello for a comic-book villain. Sampled whistling for young revolutionaries in a Latin American jungle. A German rendition of a Beatles song for a satire on the Third Reich. A retro synth score for the tribulations of a gambling addict. Angry, dissonant music for two men alone in a 19th-century lighthouse. Avant-garde saxophone [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content