MoviePass, the $10-a-month subscription movie-going service, will no longer allow its subscribers to see the same movie twice. In the MoviePass terms of service, the policy is now written in all capital letters.
The no-repeat policy arrives just in time for Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War blockbuster opening. CEO Mitch Lowe said the policy is actually a reinstatement of an old policy that was abandoned more than a year ago.
MoviePass has always stated in its terms of service language that it maintains the right to change its rules. However, some of its customers who have purchased a year’s subscription in advance can’t be pleased that the policy is now different than what they thought they were getting when they purchased their subscription. “Anyone with an issue should call customer service,” Lowe said.
The move comes as the sustainability of MoviePass’ business model has been called into question. MoviePass cut its monthly cost from $45 last August to $9.99. Because MoviePass is paying most theaters the full price of the ticket, the service now loses money with just one or two movies in a month. The average ticket price in the U.S. is about $9.
In a financial report, MoviePass’ parent company, Helios, warned that MoviePass’ future is in “substantial doubt” because it “has incurred losses since its inception and has a present need for additional funding.” MoviePass wants to work out ticket discounts and revenue-sharing deals with theaters, but theaters have balked at offering MoviePass anything.
The service’s movie-a-day deal has been popular among moviegoers, many of whom were seeing more movies than they normally would have. MoviePass now has more than two million subscribers. Lowe expects 5 million subscribers to be using the service by year’s end.
A line saying that premium plans are in the works has also been added to the MoviePass terms of service. The company is reportedly working on a plan that allows users to bring a friend or spouse to the theater. There is also another plan in the works that will include Imax and 3D movies.
Two weeks ago, MoviePass offered a special “promotion” for iHeartRadio All Access along with a MoviePass subscription that offered just four tickets a month. Lowe said that MoviePass has seen no drop in new subscribers since moving to the new package.