×

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

  • Sean AstinCritics' Choice Awards, Arrivals, Los

    Film News Roundup: Sean Astin Cast in 'Mayfields Game,' 'Charming the Hearts of Men'

    In today’s film news roundup, Sean Astin gets two roles, two “Peanuts” movies are set for release, “One Last Night” gets distribution and Brian De Palma gets honored. CASTINGS Sean Astin has been cast in a pair of upcoming feature films: “Mayfield’s Game” opposite Mira Sorvino and “Charming The Hearts of Men” opposite Kelsey Grammer. Astin [...]

  • Dwayne Johnson Idris Elba

    Dwayne Johnson: Idris Elba Nixed 'Black James Bond' Joke in 'Hobbs & Shaw'

    In the “Fast & Furious Presents Hobbs & Shaw,” the movie’s villain Brixton, played by Idris Elba, spreads his arms out wide and declares “I’m black Superman.” It turns out that might not have been the original line. Dwayne Johnson tells Variety that Elba was first asked to proclaim he’s “black James Bond,” but the [...]

  • Justin Baldoni

    Justin Baldoni Developing 'It Ends With Us' Romance Movie

    “Jane the Virgin” Star Justin Baldoni is adapting Colleen Hoover’s romance novel “It Ends With Us” for film through his Wayfarer Entertainment company. Baldoni announced Monday that he had optioned the project on his Instagram account. “It Ends With Us” first published in 2016 and follows a young woman through the tumultuous stages of an [...]

  • Matteo BocelliAmerican Icon Awards Gala, Inside,

    Top Music Manager Calls Out American Icon Awards for Failing to Pay Talent

    The centuries-old adage no good deed goes unpunished is a common refrain for star music manager Scott Rodger of late. Rodger, who represents Paul McCartney and Andrea Bocelli at Maverick, says his client Matteo Bocelli, the son of the opera star, was stiffed out of promised expense reimbursement by the American Icon Awards. The event, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content