From the moment it launched a few months ago, MoviePass sounded like a deal too good to be true, but a great nonetheless. For a monthly fee, you’d be able to watch as many movies as you wanted in theaters, turning MoviePass into a Netflix of new brand new movies that moviegoers would undoubtedly appreciate.
Things started going south rather quickly for the company. MoviePass’ ambition to offer location-based, cinema-related services to users died before it actually happened, signaling that MoviePass was in desperate need of extra revenue streams. More bad signs followed as MoviePass briefly killed the unlimited movie plan, and announced subscribers would no longer be able to see the same film more than once. Not too long ago, it also introduced surge pricing for popular movies, just as reports delivered more details about the company’s dire cash situation.
Which brings us to the present day, which happens to be the best time to cancel your MoviePass subscription and forget it ever existed.
That’s because MoviePass will not let you watch any big movies anymore using its service. CNET was first to report the inability to purchase a ticket for Mission: Impossible – Fallout last weekend, as the option was greyed out or listed as a “premium showtime,” as is the case with IMAX and 3D screenings.
Going for a movie that was released two to three weeks ago wouldn’t work either. Well, it would, but that meant paying a surge fee. Like this customer:
Others weren’t happy either:
After the original report, Business Insider came out with a story claiming MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe said in an all-hands meeting on Monday that the upcoming big releases including Christopher Robin and The Meg would not be available to subscribers. A source familiar with the matter implied that the practice would continue for the foreseeable future.
This is hardly a surprise coming from a company that can’t pay its bills. The service was shut down on Thursday night after MoviePass ran out of money and had to borrow $5 million in cash. MoviePass has to pay the full ticket price for all the movies subscribers see, and Business Insider reports that the company bought more than 1.15 million tickets for Avengers: Infinity War alone as of mid-July.
Unless you’re happy using MoviePass for whatever new releases the service let you see, you might as well cancel the service and go to the movies like you used to, by paying full price for each ticket.
UPDATE: MoviePass on Tuesday confirmed in a press release that you’d be right to reconsider staying a subscriber. The company said that it’s increasing the monthly fee to $14.95 and that movies that are shown in more than 1,000 theaters will be “limited in their availability during the first two weeks unless made available on a promotional basis.” In other words, you won’t have access to blockbusters via MoviePass, as the company is trying to cut spending.