Okay so I don’t know about you guys but Tyrell and I LOVE going to the movies. However, it is getting kind of expensive… And if we try to get the whole family together we easily drop $100 for an afternoon of sitting in a dark room together. We tend to save our movie going experiences for big box office hits that we have to see on the big screen. Because let’s be honest, Marvel movies just are not as good at home on our 42” screen as they are among the cinematic experience. But then we heard about this thing called MoviePass.
MoviePass is a service you sign up for and you can see UNLIMITED movies and it only costs $9.95 per month!! That is the price of one movie ticket in our town! And if you are anything like we were when we first heard about it you are definitely thinking, “This is way too good to be true. What’s the catch?” Well to be honest there isn’t what I would call a “catch.” There are some rules and guidelines which I will tell you about but nothing that we weren’t already expecting.
Honestly, there is no downside to this. It is an awesome Christmas present if you are willing to buy the whole year for a movie buff in your life. Or it is a great investment for yourself! And especially if you are a family, this can save you a TON of movie each year.
Why MoviePass Works
Okay so don’t worry, I have done all the research possible so you don’t have to do it yourself. I wanted to know the ins and outs of this company and how the heck they were making my movie going dreams a reality! So I pulled out my super advanced internet stocking skills and I got to the bottom of it. Now if you aren’t worried about how
How Movie Pass Makes Money
My first question was how does the MoviePass Company make money? MoviePass used to cost $50 per month and they made money by people signing up and not utilizing the service to the full extent, sort of like gym memberships. But now they lowered their prices to $9.95 per month in order to get more subscribers and this seemed suspicious!
So how do they justify this price drop? The answer wasn’t exactly what I wanted but they were very honest and forthcoming with this information which I respected. They make money by selling information about our movie going habits. Now, please do not see this as a red flag!
Every company does it, and they are very honest about exactly what information they gather from us.
“If you get a trailer right now for Spiderman on Facebook, Facebook can’t tell if you ever actually go to the movie. We can,” says Ted Farnsworth, Helios and Matheson CEO. “We can tell if you look at Spiderman and look at Wonder Woman and Mission: Impossible, we can tell you exactly what movie you went to out of all three trailers.”
Basically they track what movie trailers we watch on our devices linked to our email address and then they wait to see if we go see that movie in theaters or not. They then sell that information to movie production companies so that they know what marketing is working and what isn’t.
They also know what trailers to push on certain people. Tyrell and I see a lot more action movies than romcoms so chances are I am more likely to see a Marvel trailer than a Nicholas Sparks trailer. I work in advertising so I understand why this is now a normal thing in our society.
How Theaters Feel About MoviePass
The other question I wanted to know was why the theaters would be willing to accept MoviePass? Well there are two parts to this. MoviePass pays theaters for the tickets so they are making some money our tickets still.
The other part is that MoviePass users spend 123% more on snacks and beverages than the average movie goer! And I am so guilty of this. I see it as I didn’t pay for my ticket so I can splurge on the large popcorn AND a box of candy. Theaters love this about MoviePass users.
Now this isn’t to say that all theaters are totally on board. AMC actually thinks MoviePass is going to destroy the theater industry. AMC thinks that MoviePass will create a bubble that will pop as soon as they go out of business. They don’t see this business model panning out long term and that concerns them. Basically if people get used to paying $9.95 per month for unlimited movies then if MoviePass goes out business people will stop going to movies entirely because the cost of $9.95 per ticket will seem outrageous.
I can’t say that I don’t see where they are coming from but this fear relies on MoviePass going under which I really hope won’t happen! What I do expect to see is another change in business model. Right now they are very set on not selling our information to outside sources.
This would mean that other entities would have access to our information outside of the movie industry. I appreciate how hard they are trying to avoid this but if it came down to them staying in business or not I would understand expanding their income pool.
How MoviePass Works
Okay, as I said there are a few rules which I promise I will get to in just a second. But there are a few things that you should know about signing up before you just type in your credit card number and call t good!
First things first, check to make sure a theater in your area accepts MoviePass! To do this you go to their website and enter your zip code and it will bring up all theaters that accept their card. After that the process to sign up is pretty standard, enter your info, and give them a credit card number.
The next step is to download the MoviePass app. You have to have the app in order to use MoviePass so you can’t opt out of this step in the process. The app will be necessary when buying tickets but I will explain that later!
Once you are all signed up and have downloaded the app, the next step unfortunately is to wait. MoviePass will send you a card (looks like a debit card) in the mail and once you receive the card you can then start using MoviePass. The good thing is that your first month won’t start until they know you have received your card. So don’t worry about paying for those first few days before your card arrives!
Using Movie Pass
Now for the good part, how it works. Once you have your card in the mail you will activate it using the app. Each time you go to a movie you will follow these steps:
1. Get within 100 yards of the theater you wish to go to
2. Open the app and select your movie and showtime
3. Enter your card number if your card is not yet activated
4. Go purchase your ticket while your card is activated! You only have 30 minutes to do this once you select your movie so that is why you must be near the theater for it to activate your card.
Basically once your card is active it has the amount of money on it you will need to see your movie. This means you can purchase your ticket with your MoviePass debit card. If you change your mind or tickets are sold out, don’t worry! You can cancel your check in or switch movies just by going back into the app and clicking the “Sold out? Changed mind?” button! If your theater supports etickets you can buy your ticket right from the app and not worry about waiting in line or tickets selling out! The only down side is that you can’t change your mind about etickets.
As I mentioned, there are a few rules that you should know before signing up for MoviePass.
1. Each person must have their own card/app. This means families currently have to sign up for each person but family plans are in the works from what I hear!
2. MoviePass cannot be used for enhanced screenings. This means DBOX, 3D, IMAX, or anything that would traditionally have an extra charge cannot be purchased using MoviePass. Check with your theater to find out what these screenings are locally!
3. Only one movie per day. The “unlimited” unfortunately is limited to one ticket per day. This is a bummer if you want to spend all day watching every new release but for most people I don’t see this being a problem.
4. If you show time is not listed you have to go through MoviePass chat and not the theater. The theaters really have no control and don’t know the workings of MoviePass. If your show time is not listed just contact MoviePass and they should be able to check you in manually!
That is pretty much it! If you consider these a “catch” then that’s what the catch is. Overall, I think this is totally worth it and we have more than gotten our money’s worth out of it since signing up! There is no doubt in my mind that we are hooked and will continue to be loyal MoviePass users as long as it is available.