December 6, 2018
MoviePass, the beleaguered theatrical ticket subscription service, is set to roll out new monthly pricing plans it hopes will financially stabilize the service and restore investor confidence in corporate parent Helios and Matheson Analytics, among other goals.
In an interview with Variety, MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe said the new tiered pricing plans – ranging from the existing $9.95 to $24.95 – would be dependent on where subscribers lived.
As a result, consumers living in rural areas would likely see no change to the $9.95 fee (dubbed “select”) affording access to three movies per month at select times, while moviegoers in major markets such as Los Angeles and New York would pay $14.95.
A $19.95 “red carpet” option – which mirrors the fee of a competing service from AMC Theatres – enables rural subscribers access to three screenings at any time in any format (Imax, 3D, 2D). The option costs $24.95 in major cities.
“We have a lot to prove to all our constituents,” said Lowe. “We don’t just have to prove ourselves to our members, we also have to prove ourselves to the investment community, our employees, and our partners.”
Indeed, the service’s well-chronicled missteps largely revolved around an unsustainable business model that paid exhibitors full price for every ticket consumed by subscribers paying less than $10 per month for daily access to a theatrical screening.
With MoviePass unable to convince exhibitors to share in the financial risk in return for enhanced foot traffic and sharing user data – the latter triggering data breach concerns – the service began to hemorrhage money and alienate consumers and investors.
In HMNY’s most-recent fiscal report, the company reported a loss of $137 million and just $6.2 million in cash available. The parent’s stock is worth pennies and in risk of being delisted by Nasdaq – despite a reverse-stock split last summer. A planned second reverse-stock split was abandoned after failing to generate enough shareholder approval.
“Expectations weren’t met,” said Rodes Ponzer, head of marketing. “The creative memes and the consumer vitriol, we understand it. We told customers [theatrical access] was un-limited and we didn’t meet their expectations. Now we’re going to set their expectations properly.”