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Wednesday, Jun 20, 2018
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MoviePass offers unlimited movies at theaters for $10 a month — what you need to know

There's now a service that says it will let you watch as many movies as you want for one monthly price: MoviePass. 

It's not online streaming, or kiosk rentals, but new movies in theaters, up to one per day, every single day, for $10 a month.

MoviePass isn't actually a new service, it's been around for several years with a higher price tag, but many, many people found out about it on Tuesday when the CEO, a Netflix co-founder and former Redbox exec, implemented a radical move to drop the price to $10 per month.

Interest was so high that the site MoviePass site crashed and the app slowed to a crawl, with frustrating error messages and non-responsive customer service, but, if you were determined and patient, you could eventually sign up for a subscription (I know, because I did). 

How can MoviePass offer this service for $10 a month when the cost of a single movie ticket can be more than that? According to Bloomberg, the company just sold a large stake to a data company, which likely plans to sell that sweet, sweet data on your movie-going habits. It must be valuable, since MoviePass will reportedly pay the theater for the full price of a ticket every time you use it.

Want to try it? Here's what you need to know. 

The site and app still aren't working so great. But you can eventually get signed up if you keep trying. However, once you're signed up, you might not be able to see the full list of theaters that let you use the app for digital tickets. With some patience, I was able to see that MoviePass e-tickets will work without a MoviePass card at Studio Movie Grill in Tampa and Riverview 14 GDX in Riverview. Once you have your card, MoviePass says you'll be able to use it at any theater that accepts a debit card, so virtually every movie theater.

Card? What is this card? Although some theaters will let you reserve digital tickets through the app, MoviePass relies mostly on a card that looks like a debit card. Once you sign up for the service with your address, MoviePass will send you this card, which is what you use at the theater box office to "pay" for your ticket once you arrive. MoviePass says new members will get this card in about a week to 10 days, though considering how slammed they are right now, don't be surprised if it's the long end of that or longer.

Can this deal really be true? As of now, yes. However, Variety is already reporting that AMC theaters is concerned that MoviePass may not be able to sustain such a radical business model, and therefore is considering ways to opt out of the MoviePass deal. For now, though, AMC theaters are included for $10 a month.


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