A cineplex subscription service dropped the price of a monthly MoviePass to $10. Will you please now leave the house and go to an actual movie theater?
Bloomberg brings us news of Mitch Lowe and his master plan to get butts in movie theater seats. The Netflix co-founder and head of the start-up MoviePass lowered the price of MoviePass' all-you-can-watch monthly membership to just $9.95. This means that subscribers can watch a movie a day at any theater that accepts debit cards for about the price of one average ticket.
The only catch is that 3D, IMAX, etc. movies aren't included but who cares? $10 for 30ish movies a month? That's a steal!
MoviePass initially launched in 2011 and charged $50 a month for unlimited daily theater tickets. The company claims it works at 36,000 screens across 4,000 different locations, which is basically most theaters.
Lowe's goal is to get more folks in theaters so marketing companies can study and analyze moviegoers, thus assisting targeted advertising efforts. In other words, they will sell your data to Pepsi.
"It's no different than Facebook or Google. The more we understand our fans, the more we can target them," explained Ted Farnsworth, CEO at Helios and Matheson, the publicly traded data firm that now owns a majority stake in MoviePass.
Lowe insists that the reason fewer people are going to physical movie theaters these days isn't because they're at home binge-watcing Netflix or Amazon Prime. No, people avoid the cineplex because it's too damn expensive, he thinks.
(Or maybe it's the bedbugs.)
This summer was a big bust for AMC, the biggest of the big cineplexes. AMC Entertainment Holdings lost $1.3 million in market value in recent months. And according to Box Office Mojo, Lowe might be right. The cost of a movie ticket has doubled in the past decade. The national average in 2017 is $8.98. (Clearly, San Francisco theaters and their $14 tickets are on the high side of the nation.)
CNet reports that AMC wants out of this MoviePass bargain. The major movie house is attempting to legally opt-out and claims the business model is sustainable for the movie industry.
In a statement, AMC said:
"Bloomberg today called it a 'crazy plan.' AMC noted that it is not yet known how to turn lead into gold. AMC believes that holding out to consumers that first run movies can be watched in theatres at great quantities for a monthly price of $9.95 isn't doing moviegoers any favors. In AMC's view, that price level is unsustainable and only sets up consumers for ultimate disappointment down the road if or when the product can no longer be fulfilled. AMC also believes that promising essentially unlimited first-run movie content at a price below $10 per month over time will not provide sufficient revenue to operate quality theatres nor will it produce enough income to provide film makers with sufficient incentive to make great new movies. Therefore, AMC will not be able to offer discounts to MoviePass in the future, which seems to be among their aims.
While AMC is not opposed to subscription programs generally, the one envisioned by MoviePass is not one AMC can embrace. We are actively working now to determine whether it may be feasible to opt out and not participate in this shaky and unsustainable program."
SHAKY AND UNSTABLE! Will you be taking advantage of this MoviePass deal?