MoviePass, the $9.95 monthly subscription service that allows members to see one movie per day, is now charging extra for the movies and showings they most want.
Summer surge pricing, also known as peak pricing, began July 5. In addition to the subscription, members who are billed monthly may be charged between $2 and $3.50 more for popular films at popular times. (Annual subscribers are not affected by surge pricing at this time.)
Members can check the app before the showtime to see whether peak pricing may affect a particular showing, but they cannot check a day or more in advance.
While members still save money with MoviePass, these new charges mean that they are not saving or seeing as much as they signed up for. The reduced savings have MoviePass functioning more like a MovieCoupon.
MoviePass exploded in popularity last year by dropping the subscription price to $9.95 per month. Since then, the price has fluctuated. MoviePass occasionally has sweetened the deal with incentives, including an iHeartRadio trial subscription, to bring in more revenue. But with additional subscribers come more expenses: MoviePass pays theatres for every ticket sold. The company’s long-term survival is shaky, as its parent company, Helios and Matheson, loses millions of dollars every month.
MoviePass set out to change how U.S. audiences see movies. Is it succeeding? Yes. Other subscription services, such as AMC Stubs A-List and Sinemia, have arisen as alternatives to MoviePass. Unlike MoviePass, their subscriptions are limited to a certain number of showings, but AMC includes 3D showings, which MoviePass does not.
Will it survive? That remains to be seen.