We became slightly concerned last week when we found out that MoviePass had temporarily replaced its unbeatable $10 a month unlimited movie plan with a limited time offer than included three free months of iHeartRadio All Access, but only four movies a month. While the iHeartRadio part of the plan will expire, it was unclear why the number of movies subscribers were allowed to see had suddenly dropped from one a day to four a month.
Was the unlimited monthly movie plan going to be scrapped? MoviePass didn’t provide any indications one way or the other until The Hollywood Reporter asked CEO Mitch Lowe if he thought the plan would go back to a movie a day. “I don’t know,” he said in response, which is about as discouraging an answer as one could imagine.
MoviePass has experimented with several pricing schemes over the past several years, but the company appeared to hit a sweet spot last August when it cut the price of its movie-a-day subscription service to just $9.95. MoviePass was suddenly the talk of the town, and appeared to be on an upward trajectory financially.
Just to put that $9.95 a month price into perspective, it would cost me just under $17 to see Avengers: Infinity War at my local theater in Queens this weekend. That’s for a standard 2D screening — no 3D, no IMAX, no rumbling seats. MoviePass would more than pay for itself if I just saw two movies every three months.
Four movies a month for the same price is nothing to scoff at either, and would still be a huge savings, but it’s tough to take something away from consumers, especially quietly and without any explanation. If MoviePass really is going to sunset its $9.95 a month pricing scheme, it needs to come out and say so.