These days, movie tickets are too expensive and people are choosing to opt out of theater experiences. With cheaper options such as Redbox, streaming sites like Netflix, or plain-old illegal downloading, even blockbuster films aren’t worth breaking the bank. However, a monthly subscription to MoviePass promises otherwise. For $9.95 a month, users can enjoy one movie every day—or for $7.75 a month, users can watch three movies a month, plus a free 3-month trial of iHeartRadio All Access. After signing up online, a MoviePass card arrives at the user’s home within two weeks, assuring access to all participating theatres.
Within the last year, MoviePass’ subscriptions have gone from 200,000 to 2 million, and continue to rise as word circulates. Unsurprisingly, the service has become a huge hit with users under 35, creating a steady growth of loyal customers. In fact, the service has become so popular that it contributes an estimated $2 million a week in profit to the nation’s largest movie theater chain, AMC.
While MoviePass keeps gaining new subscribers and continues to grow in popularity, not everything has been rainbows and unicorns for the company. They have been constantly criticized for poor customer service, engaged in feuds with movie theater chains—including AMC, and their profit margins have been suggesting trouble on the horizon for quite some time.
MoviePass pays full price to theaters for every ticket bought by a user, making their business model unsustainable. If the average ticket in a big city, where most subscribers live, is $11.88 then the monthly subscription price tag cannot hold MoviePass for long. Already on the edge, the ticketing service only has $15.7 million in cash in contrast to the operation’s monthly cost of $21.7 million. The company is currently counting on projected profit gains from advertising, data collection, and film distribution rights in order to survive. However, this is all projected profit dependent on chance rather than sure numbers.
Even if it doesn’t last long, MoviePass is still a deal you want to take advantage of—especially in big cities where ticket prices have risen most. The only con to avoid is their history of shady customer service; last year’s influx of subscriptions left many without a MoviePass card. However, within recent months, card retrieval has attained more positive feedback. Even if its customer service is not that great, unlimited movies for $9.95 a month is worth that “risk.”
MoviePass’ contributions to the movie-going experience have been so significant in the last year, it has caused other companies to copy their approach. Sinemia, the company’s major rival, unveiled its newest subscription rates last month. Along with more packages ranging from $4.99 to $14.99 a month, Sinemia offers access to 3-D, 4-D, and Imax formats, plus seat selections and restaurant discounts. However, Sinemia only offers up to three movies a month, so Moviepass is still the better option—for now. Sustainable model or not, it’s hard to let go of such a good deal.