The time to say “I told you so” seems to be fast approaching when it comes to MoviePass and it’s less than stellar idea to charge subscribers only $10 a month for the chance to see one movie per day if they so wish. If you just did the math in your head you might have come up with the realization that the pass pays for itself in favor of the subscriber after the first day, while MoviePass seems to be footing the bill for everything that comes after. It’s kind of obvious that they were depending on the millions of subscribers to offset the cost that would be levied upon the company, but as Ryan Scott from MovieWeb has indicated they could be closing their doors indefinitely. That might not be the case just yet as the company could be on life support instead of on the slab, but it doesn’t seem like their temporary lack of service will be the chance they need to make a rousing comeback. At the moment it would seem as though they’re simply trying to recoup and come up with a better game plan, but if anyone’s ever seen a company simply go down without any real set time frame of when they’re coming back then it might seem obvious that they’re as close to panic mode as they can be without saying it out loud.
Even if they’re not shutting down indefinitely as Ethan Anderton of Slash Film and many others seem to think, other companies are looking into starting up their own subscription services, following in the wake of this idea with their own plans. Regal Cinemas, one of the biggest movie chains in the country, is coming out with their own subscription service apparently, as are AMC and a few other companies that want to take advantage of this chance to up their viewership. Want to know the difference however? Regal was already established before this idea, as their theaters are well known throughout the country in many states and locations outside of the US as well. They have the clout and the ability to back up a subscription service unlike MoviePass, who has to pay full price for each movie that their subscribers decide to watch. It’s true that the costs are pretty heavy no matter who’s providing the service, but companies such as Regal and AMC are still heavyweights when compared to MoviePass, and will likely have a lot more success with this idea in the long run if it happens to work.
In truth the subscription never did make a lot of sense considering what movies cost and that the business model seemed to involve more money going out than coming in. Perhaps it comes from not having a head for economics or business, but paying to insure the good time of those that one is trying to charge for the privilege doesn’t seem to be the way to earn money. If anything it might have seemed as though MoviePass was willing to cater to its subscribers as the ultimate nice guy move instead of trying to earn a healthy profit from those that were willing to pay for the service. In other words, they were doing something that seemed incredibly backward by charging for a service and then handing over something for virtually nothing. A lot of us know what it costs to go see a movie these days, and that’s without the added cost of hitting the concession stand on the way in. So really, charging just $10 a month to see as many movies as one wants and at just about any theater they wanted to attend doesn’t make a whole lot of sense from a business standpoint unless millions upon millions of people are willing to sign up. Even then it’s not all that sensible considering that one still has to depend on enough people seeing this as a worthwhile idea. As Nicole Drum from Comic Book and many others are already starting to surmise, this current shutdown to ‘improve the app’ could be a sustained and indefinite thing for MoviePass.
And on top of that, who in the world would want to go see a movie every day? It’s easy to imagine a lot of people raising their hands and saying of course they would, but a lot of those hands would go down when they remember that they have to work, they have other obligations, and that visiting the theater every single day would become just as much of a drag as anything we do in our normal, everyday routine. Going to the movies is a privilege after all, a treat that we allow ourselves and our families now and again when it’s warranted. Something like MoviePass would be great if it was able to charge a bit more for the monthly service and was able to offer various benefits that were sensible and didn’t cost the company a bundle. As of now though, hindsight being what it is, they might end up being old news if they can’t revamp and rework their business model into something that will turn a profit instead of serving one up to the public.