MoviePass is coming out of the grave, releasing a beta for its upcoming movie subscription service on Labor Day 2022, which takes place on September 5th.
Exact details on how the new service will work are still scarce at the time of this writing. According to official website (opens in new tab)this upcoming version of MoviePass will have three different pricing tiers: $10, $20, and $30. Each tier will give you a certain amount of credits per month that can be used to watch a movie in theaters.
It looks like the service will start with a limited release in the United States. MoviePass states on its FAQ page that its service will not be available to everyone in the country, but will roll out in waves. Launch will be determined based on the amount of engagement MoviePass gets on its initial launch and partner theater locations. And whenever the service enters a new market, users will receive an email informing them of the upcoming release.
beta waiting list
Regarding availability, the FAQ page states that the service will work with “all major theaters that accept major credit cards…” A recent Business Insider report (opens in new tab) reveals that beta users can buy movie tickets through the app or get the new black card (opens in new tab) in the post office that will serve as a ticket. People can use this card at any “box office that accepts MasterCard”.
Interested parties can apply for the beta waitlist opening Thursday, August 25 (opens in new tab) at 9 am EST. It’s on a first-come, first-served basis and is free to sign up, but space is limited. The application window will remain active until Monday, August 29 at 11:59 pm. The lucky few that are selected can invite another 10 people to become members. In addition, previous MoviePass members will receive free free credits added to their accounts.
While the new MoviePass looks good, we have a lot of questions. We contacted the company and asked where exactly the service will launch for the first time and for details on how the credit system will work. We also brought the possibility of integrating cryptocurrencies.
This version of MoviePass was first revealed in February 2022, and during the initial announcement, co-founder Stacy Spikes said that the service will be built on “a Web3 framework”. For those who don’t know, Web3 is the idea of a new version of the internet that incorporates aspects of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. Needless to say, this structure had many vocal critics.
According to a report by Engadget (opens in new tab), MoviePass will have some “kind of virtual currency”. This story will be updated if we hear from them.
Analysis: bad weather
Truth be told, we’re skeptical about this new MoviePass and it’s not because of the possibility of Web3 integration.
The company has a very troubled past. The old MoviePass offered a $9.95 monthly plan that brought in three million subscribers at its peak, but failed to generate enough profit for investors despite early promises. according to a report by Forbes (opens in new tab). This led to the company being investigated by the “New York Attorney General for allegedly misleading investors about [its] financial sustainability”. on top of that, MoviePass suffered a data breach in 2020 after thousands of credit card numbers were left on an unsecured server that lacked password protection.
Assuming MoviePass can still be trusted, the film industry is in a very strange spot right now. A Morning Consult viewer poll (opens in new tab) revealed that theater attendance is still quite low in the US.
Rising ticket costs and the availability of streaming services mean that theaters are often not the first choice for a movie-consuming audience. Regal Cinemas, one of the largest movie theater chains in the United States, recently announced that may have to file for bankruptcy (opens in new tab) like drowning in debt.
With this oddly timed effort, MoviePass can be credited with near-blockbuster charisma (no pun intended). Good luck for the service. I hope we don’t see another shutdown like in 2019.
If you’re a big movie buff, recently updated its New Movies 2022 list for the final four months of the year.