Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

MoviePass throws a Hail Mary, introduces three new plans to launch in January

Illustration for article titled MoviePass throws a Hail Mary, introduces three new plans to launch in January
Screenshot: Cape Fear

Like the scrappiest of put-upon film protagonists, MoviePass continues to soldier on. That’s despite its distressingly peripatetic business model, ever-plummeting stock, and flourishing competition, not to mention an investigation by the New York attorney general’s office, who think the company lied to its investors. Still, the subscription service has a vision for the future, one they just laid out for the New York Times.


Firstly, chief executive Mitch Lowe is handing over the day-to-day operations to Khalid Itum, an executive vice president, choosing instead to focus on “long-term strategy.” Both of them acknowledge the company’s poor standing with its users, and promise that they plan to invest not in customer acquisition but rather in making the goddamned thing usable again.

“We need to be empathetic and think about our members — what it’s been like for them to be whiplashed and wake up one day and this is different and now this is different,” Itum said, adding that the focus is on “fixing the product.”

“The way we have been going about this is not the right way,” Lowe added. “We listened. We reassessed.”

That reassessment has brought them to a new structure, one that we’re really hoping they won’t completely rejigger in a few weeks. It goes like this: All tiers offer access to three films per month, with the basic plan providing tickets to only handful of titles and the top two tiers getting you into all films. The highest tier, Red Carpet, gives you access to one Imax, 3D, or large-format screening per month.

Subscription plans will also see a slight boost in cost, but will differ depending on where in the country you live. Basic plans will cost between $10 and $15, All Access ones between $15 and $20, and Red Carpet access will run you $20 to $25 per month. Beginning today, you can get All Access and Red Carpet subscriptions at a holiday discount at the MoviePass website, though it appears you need to commit to an annual pass.

It feels like a Hail Mary for the beleaguered company, one that will either keep it in step with its imitators or bury it once and for all. No matter how it shakes out, one thing’s for certain: Because of MoviePass, more people are seeing more movies in movie theaters. We think that’s a good thing.


Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.