MoviePass Inc. to Test Monthly Movie Pass
Well, it’s been an interesting couple of days for movie theater owners as news of a “monthly theater pass” hit the papers.
The Tuesday Los Angeles Times reported a venture called MoviePass Inc. was going to be testing a service that allows theater goers to pay a single fee of $50 for a monthly theater pass. The program was going to be launched with online ticket firm MovieTickets.com, and would work by patrons showing a code that would display on smartphones to gain entry to movie theaters.
But AMC Theaters killed the idea before any passes were sold. They said they weren’t consulted about the program, and wouldn’t honor any of the passes sold by MovieTickets.com. That put everything on hold, with MoviePass rethinking their options.
The concern on the part of the movie theater owners is that as coupons are sold for movies on Groupon.com and other websites, the perceived value of going to the movies by customers will erode; and they won’t go unless they start getting in at a discounted price. This is a very valid concern: especially when you consider the fact that movie attendance is down 5% this year, and has been flat over most of the last five years. As consumers can buy or rent cheap DVDs, and home theater systems get closer to providing the “movie theater experience,” theater owners are very hesitant to take any actions that would further erode people’s desire to fork over their $8.06 (the national average) for a movie ticket.
That’s what was reported on Tuesday. Apparently MoviePass was able to reconsider things in a hurry, because Wednesday’s Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal are both reporting that MoviePass is moving forward with the program; but with a different online ticket partner.Continued on the next page