For several years, from 2011 to 2017, Moviepass quietly provided moviegoers with a voucher system to use at participating theatres. Due to opposition from users and movie theatres, particularly AMC Theaters, the company underwent a number of changes to its organizational structure and services during its existence.
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By the end of the year, they had 20,000 subscribers after introducing a tiered subscription plan. After selling a majority stake in the business to analytics company Helios and Matheson in August 2017, MoviePass experienced a meteoric rise.
They introduced an unlimited plan that allowed subscribers to the service to watch a movie every day for just $9.95 per month. The subscription service saw a surge in new users as a result of the new, startlingly low price for movies, growing from 20,000 to over 3 million subscribers in less than a year.
Unable to handle the massive influx of users, MoviePass started raising prices and altering subscription plans without informing customers, eventually ceasing operations in September 2019. Co-founder Stacy Spikes announced plans for a relaunch earlier this year after purchasing the company from its insolvent parent company in November 2021.
MoviePass set to relaunch
Now that the contentious service is returning, Business Insider provides some information about how it will operate. According to rumours, the waitlist for the beta test of the service will open this Thursday, August 25th, at moviepass.com. The free sign-up requires only an email address and zip code, and the waitlist will only be accessible for five days, closing on Tuesday, August 30th, on a first-come, first-served basis.
When the service launches on September 5, those who have been invited to the beta will be notified and will also receive ten invites for friends to download the app. Three price tiers are available to beta users at $10, $20, and $30 each. These price tiers are linked to digital credits that can be used to watch movies each month.
According to recent reports, MoviePass appears to have learned from its mistakes and is taking things slowly with the relaunch, offering no unlimited version and partnering with only 25% of American movie theatres. Beta users can order movie tickets through the app or use their newly rebranded black MoviePass card to buy tickets at box offices that accept MasterCard.
The leadership of Stacy Spikes, who was fired from the company in 2018 after expressing his concerns about the infamous $9.95 price drop, is another encouraging sign for the company’s relaunch. Maybe MoviePass’ days of bad rap are over now that Spikes is leading the company and a cautious rollout.