July 9, 2018
NEWS ANALYSIS — MoviePass has promised to reimburse subscribers who had to pay out-of-pocket to buy tickets Friday night (July 6) after a technical issue with the service’s app prevented users from checking in to their film.
MoviePass sent out a tweet advising users to update their app while also thanking its more than 3 million members for their understanding.
“Starting tomorrow [July 7], please send us chat through the MoviePass app showing the full receipt, including the movie title, showtime, and theater for a reimbursement. Thank you again for your understanding,” wrote the service.
That could be the least of the subscription ticket service’s problems. Parent Helios and Matheson Analytics saw its stock close down the same day to a record low 18.4 cents per share as it desperately tries to secure additional funding for a $9.95 monthly business model that is hemorrhaging millions of dollars.
The previous day MoviePass began implementing “surge pricing” at select screening times in an effort to mitigate costs associated with new releases such as Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and the Wasp, which teams Paul Rudd with Evangeline Lilly and gave the studio another No. 1 opening weekend.
“Ant-Man and the Wasp proves that at this point Marvel can seemingly do no wrong,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore, said in a statement.
But can MoviePass do right with Wall Street via surge pricing? It’s working so far for Uber, which charges users a premium (upwards 2.5 times the standard fare) when attempting to get a ride during rush hour, on holidays or in sketchy weather conditions.
Then again, Uber isn’t paying off the taxi industry to conduct its business model.
Some observers wonder why MoviePass doesn’t just raise its monthly price to match what AMC Theatres is charging ($19.95) for its upstart subscription service.
“By keeping the unlimited price as our base offering, you still get the best deal possible,” MoviePass writes in its FAQ section. “AMC’s higher price means you pay more for way fewer options. Our model, though, lets you continue to see movies in a way that works best for you.”