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Little Nemo 08-17-2017 01:24 PM

Looking for opinions and information on Movie Pass
 
I just heard about Movie Pass. It's a company that sells movie tickets. The basic idea is you pay a monthly fee and then you can go to theaters to watch movies for no further charge.

The main limit is that you can only go to one movie per day but that's not a problem. Also, it has to be theaters that participate in the program.

The Movie Pass monthly fee has been around thirty or forty dollars a month but it's now dropped down to $9.95 a month. And for that price, I'm on board.

But I'm wondering if there's some catch I'm missing. Has anyone used Movie Pass? What can you tell me about it?

Eyebrows 0f Doom 08-17-2017 01:52 PM

$9.95 per month!!?

Whoa. I need to check this out. I never signed up because it was like $35, but $10 a month is less than one ticket here!

kenobi 65 08-17-2017 02:22 PM

In poking around on their site, there's one red flag that I see, almost immediately: while they claim that "we’re accepted at over 91% of theaters nationwide," apparently, you can't actually see a list of theaters unless you actually subscribe to the service.

The fact that they won't let you see the list of participating theaters before you give them money is concerning to me.

Driver8 08-17-2017 02:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kenobi 65 (Post 20420831)
In poking around on their site, there's one red flag that I see, almost immediately: while they claim that "we’re accepted at over 91% of theaters nationwide," apparently, you can't actually see a list of theaters unless you actually subscribe to the service.

The fact that they won't let you see the list of participating theaters before you give them money is concerning to me.

Yeah, I was just about to say. They claim you can look this up on the site, but it appears to require an account. My cynical suspicion is that if the selection really was great they'd be singing it from the rooftops. Most of the cinemas around me have move to the very comfortable recliners with reserved seating model, so I suspect I'm a prime candidate for discovering most local places are excluded.

Spice Weasel 08-17-2017 02:36 PM

There is currently a huge row about this from AMC. You should be aware that they intend to file a lawsuit and the price could go up again.

DrCube 08-17-2017 03:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Spice Weasel (Post 20420876)
There is currently a huge row about this from AMC. You should be aware that they intend to file a lawsuit and the price could go up again.

So I guess they're not just buying tickets from the theaters themselves for their subscribers, but working out some sort of deal with theaters to let subscribers in without a ticket?

But the Variety article linked to in your post says this:
Quote:

MoviePass re-sells the tickets to customers and purchases them at full price using a MasterCard debit card. It claims it boosts attendance by 111% and that its customers buy more concessions.
I don't see how AMC or anyone else could have a leg to stand on, legally. It's not an IP issue. Anyone can buy tickets to a movie, even corporate re-sellers, right?

On the other hand, they acknowledge they're selling below cost, which isn't illegal, but can be used as evidence of anti-competitive practices.
Quote:

Lowe acknowledges that his company is subsidizing ticket buyers and will lose money in the process. However, he believes that MoviePass will be able to prove its value to movie theaters and studios, and that in the future they will cut the company in on their additional profits. Theater owners could also either pay MoviePass back with advertising or give them a percentage of the concessions sales.

Little Nemo 08-17-2017 03:46 PM

I'm aware of the AMC complaints. (It was, in fact, a story about those complaints that made me aware of Movie Pass.) I'll admit I don't understand why AMC is unhappy. From what I've read, Movie Pass pays the movie theaters the full cost of the tickets. You'd think AMC and other theaters would be delighted to get more customers, collecting full ticket prices from everyone, and having more people to sell snacks to.

I'm also wondering how Movie Pass can sustain this system. Is it like a gym membership, where they're hoping people will buy the membership and then not get around to using it? Or is the current price a loss leader to get people to sign up and get into a habit of going to movies and then they'll raise the membership fees back up to a higher rate?

Finally, there's the app issue. I'm behind the times and I don't own a phone that does apps. So I don't know if I can even use Movie Pass.

TroutMan 08-17-2017 03:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 20421095)
I'm aware of the AMC complaints. (It was, in fact, a story about those complaints that made me aware of Movie Pass.) I'll admit I don't understand why AMC is unhappy. From what I've read, Movie Pass pays the movie theaters the full cost of the tickets. You'd think AMC and other theaters would be delighted to get more customers, collecting full ticket prices from everyone, and having more people to sell snacks to.

I'm also wondering how Movie Pass can sustain this system.

The reason AMC is upset is the answer to the second question: this is only sustainable if Movie Pass starts getting payments or concessions from the theaters. Movie Pass is giving it away now with no charge to the theaters to gain market share, but if they get big enough (a big if), they'll demand AMC pay them for the privilege of participating. AMC doesn't want any middlemen taking money from them.

Eyebrows 0f Doom 08-17-2017 03:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 20421095)
I'm also wondering how Movie Pass can sustain this system. Is it like a gym membership, where they're hoping people will buy the membership and then not get around to using it? Or is the current price a loss leader to get people to sign up and get into a habit of going to movies and then they'll raise the membership fees back up to a higher rate?

Finally, there's the app issue. I'm behind the times and I don't own a phone that does apps. So I don't know if I can even use Movie Pass.

The MoviePass site & app are completely swamped right now but I found this cached link on Reddit that will show you what theaters in your zip code accept MoviePass: https://go2cinema.com/moviepass-cinemas/

A friend of mine has been a member for a few years now and he says it's great. He regularly sees many movies per month so even at the $50 price point it was still a good deal for him. We're in NYC and I don't think he's ever had a problem using it. Of course, that could all change with the huge influx of subscribers they'll get with this $9.95 deal. I just signed up myself. Even if I only use it for one month and see one movie, I still come out ahead.

Apparently you do need the app to check in to the theater, you can then use the card to purchase at the box office.

DrCube 08-17-2017 04:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TroutMan (Post 20421131)
The reason AMC is upset is the answer to the second question: this is only sustainable if Movie Pass starts getting payments or concessions from the theaters. Movie Pass is giving it away now with no charge to the theaters to gain market share, but if they get big enough (a big if), they'll demand AMC pay them for the privilege of participating. AMC doesn't want any middlemen taking money from them.

Seems to me like that would be the time for AMC to start suing. Not when the defendant is losing tons of money by giving it all to AMC.

DrCube 08-17-2017 04:08 PM

So, to be clear, there's no contract for this yet? I can pay $10 and see as many movies as I want for a month and then never pay another dime? Because the "gym business model" essentially requires year long contracts to make money.

Eyebrows 0f Doom 08-17-2017 04:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrCube (Post 20421176)
So, to be clear, there's no contract for this yet? I can pay $10 and see as many movies as I want for a month and then never pay another dime? Because the "gym business model" essentially requires year long contracts to make money.

Yup. From their FAQ: "MoviePass is month-to-month, no commitment. Cancel at any time without a fee. "

https://moviepass.zendesk.com/hc/en-...mination-fees-

ETA: As long as it's one 2D movie per 24-hour period. That's the only limitation.

DrCube 08-17-2017 04:17 PM

That's plenty for me. I can't remember the last time I watched a movie in a theater. I thought maybe this service could get me into theaters again.

It's hard to beat my big screen surround sound system in the comfort of my own home though. No schedules, fees, popcorn is virtually free, no cell phone talkers, no commercials, and I can pause it if I really have to go to the bathroom. But occasionally it makes a nice night out.

TroutMan 08-17-2017 04:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrCube (Post 20421168)
Seems to me like that would be the time for AMC to start suing. Not when the defendant is losing tons of money by giving it all to AMC.

AMC has leverage now (or they think they do - I'm not sure what legal argument they can make against it). But if Movie Pass gets big, they can start dictating terms.

Equipoise 08-17-2017 05:21 PM

I've been using MoviePass since last December and love it to death! I was paying $50.00 a month and thought it was a bargain, so I'm thrilled with the new price. The app has been wonky the past couple of days with all the newbies flocking in. I'm on my way to a movie now and I hope it works.

You have to use the app from a smartphone with Location turned on, there's no way around that.

I'm getting pissed off at AMC's temper tantrum. They get full price for their tickets so I don't know what their problem is. If they block MoviePass they'll lose a lot of money from me alone. I've seen around 140 movies at AMC this year. Without MoviePass, I'd just go to Regal and Cinemark, chains I don't go to often because AMC is so much more convenient. They better straighten up.

Little Nemo 08-17-2017 05:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TroutMan (Post 20421131)
The reason AMC is upset is the answer to the second question: this is only sustainable if Movie Pass starts getting payments or concessions from the theaters. Movie Pass is giving it away now with no charge to the theaters to gain market share, but if they get big enough (a big if), they'll demand AMC pay them for the privilege of participating. AMC doesn't want any middlemen taking money from them.

That makes no sense. Would Burger King complain if I started buying lots of cheeseburgers from them? According to your theory, yes, because I would somehow be able to leverage buying their products into being able to dictate they pay me to buy from them.

Movie Pass can buy a whole bunch of tickets from AMC. And one day they can ask AMC to pay them. And all AMC has to do is say no. Movie Pass has no leverage that can force AMC to make a deal with them if AMC doesn't feel the deal is to their advantage.

So worst case scenario for AMC is Movie Pass buys a bunch of movie tickets from them and Movie Pass customers buy a lot of popcorn from them and then Movie Pass goes out of business in six months.

Equipoise 08-17-2017 05:41 PM

I go to a lot of different theaters, AMC and otherwise. In the Chicagoland area, the only theaters I've found that don't accept MoviePass are the two ArcLight theaters and the two Landmark Centurys. Snobby assholes.

(And the Brew & View, but they're not snobby assholes. They only charge $5 for double and triple-features. I'll gladly give my cash to them when they do things like show a wonderful double-feature like Spinal Tap and Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping.)

All the smaller art house theaters I go to (Gene Siskel Film Center, Music Box, Facets) all accept MoviePass

enalzi 08-17-2017 05:42 PM

It seems like AMC's issue is that they don't think MoviePass's model is sustainable, so when the whole thing comes crashing down, customers won't be willing to suddenly pay full price for movies anymore.

I do see also the anti-competitive aspect of it. Say you have two theaters in town. One's kinda crappy, with uncomfortable seats and small screens, but with cheap tickets. Then you have another with giant screens and nice comfortable theater seating, but with expensive tickets. If you have MoviePass, which one would you choose to go to?

Spice Weasel 08-17-2017 05:43 PM

I might sign up for this since it looks like Emagine participates. Emagine might be a Detroit-local thing, I'm not sure, but it's an extra swanky theater near me that somehow manages to be competitively priced. They have a full bar and will actually bring your food to you. Frankly settling for AMC would be a quality downgrade (for the same price.)

I basically go to the theater for the concessions these days.

TroutMan 08-17-2017 06:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 20421485)
That makes no sense. Would Burger King complain if I started buying lots of cheeseburgers from them? According to your theory, yes, because I would somehow be able to leverage buying their products into being able to dictate they pay me to buy from them.

Movie Pass can buy a whole bunch of tickets from AMC. And one day they can ask AMC to pay them. And all AMC has to do is say no. Movie Pass has no leverage that can force AMC to make a deal with them if AMC doesn't feel the deal is to their advantage.

It's not my theory, it's a common view of AMC's argument. I think you discount the leverage MoviePass gains if they have significant market share and starts charging the theaters. Option 1, AMC declines to participate and loses customers to theaters that do. Option 2, AMC pays MoviePass and loses revenue for customers they have now. In their view, either option is a decrease in their revenue from today.

MoviePass argues that AMC will come out ahead because they will gain customers. I'm not addressing which argument I think is correct; I'm just saying why AMC is opposed.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Slate
But it's also easy to guess why a company like AMC would recoil at Lowe's plan. In its statement, the chain argued that MoviePass' pricing was economically unsustainable, and “only sets up consumers for ultimate disappointment down the road if or when the product can no longer be fulfilled.” That's probably a valid concern. But more broadly, AMC can't be happy about the idea of a digital middle-man inserting itself into its industry, ultimately angling for a cut of the profits from each moviegoer even as it puts downward pressure on the price of an individual ticket.


Lasciel 08-17-2017 06:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 20421095)
I'm aware of the AMC complaints. (It was, in fact, a story about those complaints that made me aware of Movie Pass.) I'll admit I don't understand why AMC is unhappy. From what I've read, Movie Pass pays the movie theaters the full cost of the tickets. You'd think AMC and other theaters would be delighted to get more customers, collecting full ticket prices from everyone, and having more people to sell snacks to.

I'm also wondering how Movie Pass can sustain this system. Is it like a gym membership, where they're hoping people will buy the membership and then not get around to using it? Or is the current price a loss leader to get people to sign up and get into a habit of going to movies and then they'll raise the membership fees back up to a higher rate?

Finally, there's the app issue. I'm behind the times and I don't own a phone that does apps. So I don't know if I can even use Movie Pass.

Some general info:

1) they are making it very cheap because they are hoping to get big-data people as investors. The real business model is selling the movie-watching data habits of craploads of people to data-miners. Like Facebook, YOU are the product.

2) you MUST have a location-enabled smart phone to use the service. You sign up, they mail you a credit-card, you install the app on your phone. Then the SAME DAY you want to see a movie, you physically go to the theatre location, open the app, scroll through til you find your location, scroll again to find a movie that you want to watch, "buy" it, they load the movie price onto the credit card they sent you, and you go to the ticket counter and use that card to pay for the actual movie ticket.

3) it's a single-use thing. You can only use it for yourself: no buying tickets for a date, or for groups of friends, or for your kids, or your spouse. Each person who is going to that movie using MoviePass has to have an individual account, their own smartphone, their own copy of the app, and their own MoviePass credit card.

4) It seems from looking into it that you can only see each movie title once. So if that's true (its been hard to confirm or deny) then if you really like Spiderman Homecoming, you're shit out of luck and have to pay the theatre full-price directly to see it again - you only can get it the once from MoviePass.

Equipoise 08-17-2017 06:52 PM

They're still working on the app. I tried to check into Logan Lucky and the theaters weren't showing up. I sent a text via the app (they're usually VERY good at responding quickly) and got this:

Quote:

Hi! Thank you for contacting MoviePass! For any inquiries regarding our $9.95 price plan, terms of service, where MoviePass is supported, or how MoviePass works, visit our in-app FAQ's. Our app and website are currently down. For service updates, visit our Facebook (facebook.com/MoviePass/) or Twitter (twitter.com/MoviePass). If you're experiencing a missing showtime or an app glitch that prevents you from using MoviePass, please purchase your ticket out of pocket and email a photo of the stub and receipt to support@moviepass.com. Thank you!
I went ahead and bought a ticket. I have no doubt I'll get reimbursed.

Spice Weasel 08-17-2017 07:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lasciel (Post 20421599)
Some general info:

1) they are making it very cheap because they are hoping to get big-data people as investors. The real business model is selling the movie-watching data habits of craploads of people to data-miners. Like Facebook, YOU are the product.

2) you MUST have a location-enabled smart phone to use the service. You sign up, they mail you a credit-card, you install the app on your phone. Then the SAME DAY you want to see a movie, you physically go to the theatre location, open the app, scroll through til you find your location, scroll again to find a movie that you want to watch, "buy" it, they load the movie price onto the credit card they sent you, and you go to the ticket counter and use that card to pay for the actual movie ticket.

Mmmm that's sketchtastic.

Quimby 08-17-2017 08:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 20421485)
That makes no sense. Would Burger King complain if I started buying lots of cheeseburgers from them? According to your theory, yes, because I would somehow be able to leverage buying their products into being able to dictate they pay me to buy from them.

Movie Pass can buy a whole bunch of tickets from AMC. And one day they can ask AMC to pay them. And all AMC has to do is say no. Movie Pass has no leverage that can force AMC to make a deal with them if AMC doesn't feel the deal is to their advantage.

So worst case scenario for AMC is Movie Pass buys a bunch of movie tickets from them and Movie Pass customers buy a lot of popcorn from them and then Movie Pass goes out of business in six months.

I think you have it backwards. What would happen is Movie Pass goes bankrupt and AMC ends up being their biggest debtor because unless I missed something Movie Pass doesn't buy any tickets in advance.

$9.95 is just too cheap for this service. There's no way they can sustain it.

gaffa 08-17-2017 09:14 PM

Another theory is that AMC was planning to offer their own All-You-Can-View movie club and is pissed that their thunder got stolen. They're fairly common in the UK, with leading chains CineWorld and Odeon both offering "Unlimited" screenings for £17.99 a month. So it's not as if this model is unknown.

obfusciatrist 08-17-2017 10:03 PM

I've been using Movie Pass for 4 or 5 years now.

It works for me, even at the higher price point. I expect they'll be out of business within a year or two but I'll use them until they do.

They've experimented with some things that slightly aggravated me (for a while limiting how many tickets they'd sell for a specific theater in a day) but rarely have I wanted to use it and been unable to. Getting off of Discover as their backing provider really opened up the number of theaters I could use it at.

Having to submit a photo of every ticket stub now is a bit of an annoyance.

Only real drawback is that I can't use it at several of the local area art house theaters that have gone to more expensive reserved seating, which Movie Pass won't pay for.

Rarely want to see IMAX or 3D so that's not a problem.

Actually, the biggest problem is I'd say that about once every two months I accidentally pay for the ticket with my red Wells Fargo debit card instead of my red Movie Pass debit card.

Little Nemo 08-18-2017 12:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Quimby (Post 20421831)
I think you have it backwards. What would happen is Movie Pass goes bankrupt and AMC ends up being their biggest debtor because unless I missed something Movie Pass doesn't buy any tickets in advance.

My understanding is that Movie Pass pays for the tickets the same way anyone else does; at the time of purchase. So there's no point at which the theaters are owed money.

Quote:

Originally Posted by gaffa (Post 20421884)
Another theory is that AMC was planning to offer their own All-You-Can-View movie club and is pissed that their thunder got stolen.

This theory makes sense.

Jophiel 08-18-2017 08:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lasciel (Post 20421599)
4) It seems from looking into it that you can only see each movie title once. So if that's true (its been hard to confirm or deny) then if you really like Spiderman Homecoming, you're shit out of luck and have to pay the theatre full-price directly to see it again - you only can get it the once from MoviePass.

Yeah, I've heard both sides (that you can and can not see the same title more than once).

If you can't, then it's not as though anyone is going to see a movie a day because there's just not that many movies to be seen at the large theater chains. Plus most people probably don't have 2+ hours a day to spend in the theater watching marginal films just because they're "free".

This feels like the sort of thing where you see four or five movies the first week because you can and it rapidly tapers down to once or twice a month. Add in the hassles of seeing a movie with a date, friends or family using the pass and you might even still wind up buying tickets outside the MoviePass.

Not that it wouldn't be a great deal for the right person but perhaps not as insane as it sounds at first blush.

Skammer 08-18-2017 08:22 AM

If I were single this would be a can't-miss deal. I'd be going to at least a handful of movies each month, and $9.95 is cheaper than just one ticket here. Most of the nearby theaters are Regal, but it sounds like they are covered.

But as someone with a family, I don't know if it's worth the hassle. I take my kids and nieces/nephews often; they don't have smartphones so I'd have to buy their tickets normally. Because I have a job and family I don't usually get to see more than 1-2 movies a month, so the savings becomes more marginal. Do you still get movie club points for your purchase?

If they're still in business when my kids are out of the house in 10 years I'll be all over it, I'd bet.

gaffa 08-18-2017 09:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skammer (Post 20422541)
If I were single this would be a can't-miss deal. I'd be going to at least a handful of movies each month, and $9.95 is cheaper than just one ticket here. Most of the nearby theaters are Regal, but it sounds like they are covered.

But as someone with a family, I don't know if it's worth the hassle. I take my kids and nieces/nephews often; they don't have smartphones so I'd have to buy their tickets normally. Because I have a job and family I don't usually get to see more than 1-2 movies a month, so the savings becomes more marginal. Do you still get movie club points for your purchase?

If they're still in business when my kids are out of the house in 10 years I'll be all over it, I'd bet.

You're right, it doesn't make much sense for families. I wonder if MoviePass can expand this into a dating app akin to something like "It's Just Lunch" - "It's Just a Movie" where two single MoviePass customers can be matched up to see a movie they both plan to see.

gaffa 08-18-2017 09:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jophiel (Post 20422495)
Yeah, I've heard both sides (that you can and can not see the same title more than once).

If you can't, then it's not as though anyone is going to see a movie a day because there's just not that many movies to be seen at the large theater chains. Plus most people probably don't have 2+ hours a day to spend in the theater watching marginal films just because they're "free".

How do you know they're "marginal"? That they're not heavily advertised? The best films I see are often the ones that get no TV commercials - nothing more than posters and trailers. In a big city like Chicago, there are dozens of films playing that get no love, yet are amazing.

Jophiel 08-18-2017 10:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gaffa (Post 20422771)
How do you know they're "marginal"? That they're not heavily advertised?

Poor reviews, lame genres, whatever.

Maybe you thought I meant "marginal" meaning "obscure art piece" when I meant "Emoji Movie" or "Baywatch". But if someone has two hours to spend watching Emoji Movie just so they can personally pass judgment on whether it was worth it, more power to them.

Equipoise 08-18-2017 11:16 AM

Skammer, since you're using a MasterCard Debit Card, yes, points count. I resisted AMC's Premium Stubs card for years until I started using MoviePass, but I signed up the same time I got MoviePass and it's been great. I rack up the points like crazy. I'm signed up with Regal too but I don't go there as often (at least until AMC screws themselves over out of stupidity).

"Free" or not, I don't go go see movies I don't think I'll like, so I haven't seen The Emoji Movie or Baywatch. I do see a lot of small, obscure movies that I might not have otherwise seen if I had to pay full price.

Little Nemo 08-18-2017 01:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jophiel (Post 20422495)
Not that it wouldn't be a great deal for the right person but perhaps not as insane as it sounds at first blush.

And I am that person.

I'm single and I enjoy watching movies. So I'll go to watch a movie by myself.

That said, I'm looking for cheap entertainment. I use to go to a local second-run theater where you could watch movies for two dollars. But that theater closed in February and I've drastically cut back on my movie watching. I'll now see five or six movies in theaters each year rather than the thirty or forty I used to go to.

So Movie Pass would be perfect for me. Except for that app thing. Not much sense in spending several hundred dollars in an attempt to live cheaply.

gaffa 08-19-2017 09:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 20423418)
And I am that person.

I'm single and I enjoy watching movies. So I'll go to watch a movie by myself.

That said, I'm looking for cheap entertainment. I use to go to a local second-run theater where you could watch movies for two dollars. But that theater closed in February and I've drastically cut back on my movie watching. I'll now see five or six movies in theaters each year rather than the thirty or forty I used to go to.

So Movie Pass would be perfect for me. Except for that app thing. Not much sense in spending several hundred dollars in an attempt to live cheaply.

True, but let's face it, it's going to become harder and harder to avoid getting a smart phone, and this might be the thing that makes it worth it.

I avoided it for years as I have an income that varies too much to want to have any additional monthly expenses. But by purchasing an "unlocked" phone outright, I can explore different plans and jumping from carrier to carrier as I find better deals. Currently I'm using a Motorola Moto G4. It's more than I wanted, but my previous one broke, and Best Buy didn't stock the cheaper ones in-store. If you buy on-line, you can get the Moto E4 for $129.

Then you can put a SIM card from all these different carriers that resell service from the big four. I'm currently using a company called MintSim that resells T-Mobile. Like every other business, they have their lowest price for new customers, but you can buy a year's worth of service - unlimited talk and text and 2 gigabytes of data a month - for $180, working out at a cost of $15 a month.

The combination of the phone and the service, plus whatever taxes and shipping, is going to work out at about $320. But if it enables you to use MoviePass, and see a new movie every single night, that is a year's entertainment handled for less than $2 a day.

kenobi 65 08-19-2017 12:53 PM

My suspicion is that Movie Pass's original business model didn't contain two aspects of how they're implementing it today:

1) I suspect that they hadn't planned on limiting it to "you can only buy one ticket per movie, per phone / app." I'm fairly certain that they know that most people who go to movies go in groups, and for most of those groups (i.e., families), one person buys the tickets for the group.

2) I'm also fairly certain that they had intended it that you would buy the ticket directly through the app, and that they hadn't planned on the user having to present the special debit card at the theater to get their ticket.

I imagine that both of those "features" wound up being implemented when they ran into obstacles in their original business model. And, both of them make it a more awkward service to use.

The debit card may not necessarily sound like a big deal, but (a) it does mean that, if someone hears about Movie Pass, and says, "that's cool! I'd like to use that to see a movie tonight!"...they can't. It means that the user has to wait for Movie Pass to send them the debit card -- and that runs counter to the instant gratification that modern online purchases and smartphone apps have trained consumers to expect. And, (b) as someone mentioned upthread, it can also lead to confusion among their users, if they accidentally try to use a different card at the theater.

At least in my area, more theaters are offering reserved seating for movies (Marcus and AMC are two of the big chains in Chicago, and they both offer it). It sounds like Movie Pass doesn't have support for reserved seating, and that's an issue, too.

In short, I suspect that they aren't a sustainable business, unless they can start to address these issues.

Equipoise 08-19-2017 06:01 PM

You want they should come to your home, pick you up in a limo, carry you in a throne from the car to the theater, then hand-feed you grapes and popcorn, hold your cup and straw while you take a sip during the movie? What else can they do to make your life easier?

Spice Weasel 08-19-2017 07:45 PM

With no reserved seating, that's a deal breaker. Emagine almost never has available seating if you walk in at movie time.

zoid 08-19-2017 08:05 PM

1 ticket per phone kills it for me - I'd happily pay for 3 accounts and take my kids to the movies every weekend.

friedo 08-19-2017 09:18 PM

I've had MoviePass for a few years now and I love it. Here in New York City the monthly plan is a bit more expensive to compensate for insane NYC ticket prices. Still, if you see three or more movies a month, it easily pays for itself. I'm a movie fan and typically see at least one or more movies a week - frequently by myself - so it works great for me.

I've had no trouble getting the MoviePass credit card accepted at any theater. Anywhere that takes MasterCard should work. I suppose the only exception would be theaters that don't take credit cards. In addition to NYC, I've successfully used it in Las Vegas, Miami, Austin, San Francisco, Atlanta, Orlando, and Portland.

kenobi 65 08-19-2017 09:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Equipoise (Post 20425972)
You want they should come to your home, pick you up in a limo, carry you in a throne from the car to the theater, then hand-feed you grapes and popcorn, hold your cup and straw while you take a sip during the movie? What else can they do to make your life easier?

Wow...that's a bit snarky.

What could they do to actually attract me?

- Let me buy more than one ticket for a show with one use of the app.
- Make it one-touch purchasing, so I didn't need to use a special debit card to redeem the ticket.
- Make it possible to reserve our seats (at theaters that do advance reservations).

Right now, they're offering me a way to save money on movie tickets, but they make the process substantially more cumbersome than just buying a ticket via my theater's web site.

friedo 08-19-2017 09:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lasciel (Post 20421599)
4) It seems from looking into it that you can only see each movie title once. So if that's true (its been hard to confirm or deny) then if you really like Spiderman Homecoming, you're shit out of luck and have to pay the theatre full-price directly to see it again - you only can get it the once from MoviePass.

You can actually select any movie you want. MoviePass has no way of knowing which ticket you actually buy.

friedo 08-19-2017 09:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by obfusciatrist (Post 20421965)
Having to submit a photo of every ticket stub now is a bit of an annoyance.

:eek: Is that new? I've never had to do that.

Lasciel 08-19-2017 09:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Equipoise (Post 20425972)
You want they should come to your home, pick you up in a limo, carry you in a throne from the car to the theater, then hand-feed you grapes and popcorn, hold your cup and straw while you take a sip during the movie? What else can they do to make your life easier?

Well for me I'm not happy about the data-mining, but for actual suggestions:

1) ability to buy tix for a group or a family, or even just a freaking couple so you could use it for a date night or any sort of actual social occasion like movies usually are.
2) ability to use the app to purchase tix while off-site from the movie theatre location
3) ability to use the app to purchase tix days (or even hours is better than what they've got) ahead of time for new releases or theatres with heavy use/crowded show times
4) ability to have multiple accounts per phone app (like Netflix) and/or some sort of 'offline' version for people to use from a home computer (like fandango).
5) any sort of more user-friendly alternative to the "physically go to the theatre, load the app, 'buy' the tix, wait til they wire the money to the specific single-use-for-MoviePass-card, then go to the ticket counter and buy the tickets AGAIN with that specific card" process because that's stressing me out just writing it out.
6) seriously tho ditch the single use credit card thing altogether that's a pain to keep track of.
7) (unclear if this is still limited but I think it is) ability to use their service to watch the same movie more than once if I want to. I often end up watching movies more than once simply because not everyone in my social group can make the same showings due to family/kids/location issues, and I don't think that's hugely uncommon.

If they fix all that, I might be more inclined to get over the data-mining, but right now it's a service that doesn't actually provide any actual useful service for my lifestyle.

Lasciel 08-19-2017 09:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by friedo (Post 20426275)
You can actually select any movie you want. MoviePass has no way of knowing which ticket you actually buy.

I had thought about that, but a few thoughts;
First since it's their card I bet they absolutely CAN see what showtime and movie you've actually purchased, and
Second, the website says there is a 90 minute period while the 'balance' stays on the card, so unless you've got a huge multiplex in the height of the evening, the balance would time out if you choose one movie showing from the app and then tried to actually purchase a different one sometime later and
Thirdly and finally, if you just bought tix during the right time but for a different / later movie time and showing, I bet that it's against their terms of service to let you repeatedly pick a specific movie and time from their listings and then just purchase whatever the crap you want from the theatre, and I'd be the one to get caught and have my account banned for it because I'm lucky that way. :D

Little Nemo 08-19-2017 10:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Equipoise (Post 20425972)
You want they should come to your home, pick you up in a limo, carry you in a throne from the car to the theater, then hand-feed you grapes and popcorn, hold your cup and straw while you take a sip during the movie? What else can they do to make your life easier?

I want them to have a version that doesn't require me to own a smart phone.

friedo 08-19-2017 10:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lasciel (Post 20426302)
I had thought about that, but a few thoughts;
First since it's their card I bet they absolutely CAN see what showtime and movie you've actually purchased

They can't. That's just not how credit or debit cards work. All they can see is that a transaction went through for a certain amount of money to a particular merchant.

Quote:

Second, the website says there is a 90 minute period while the 'balance' stays on the card, so unless you've got a huge multiplex in the height of the evening, the balance would time out if you choose one movie showing from the app and then tried to actually purchase a different one sometime later
That's not how the service works. You check in to the theater on your phone when you are ready to buy a ticket and are near the theater. The app then loads money onto the card, which you use to buy your ticket (within 90 minutes.) You can buy your ticket at any time. It doesn't matter when the movie's showtime is.

Quote:

Thirdly and finally, if you just bought tix during the right time but for a different / later movie time and showing, I bet that it's against their terms of service to let you repeatedly pick a specific movie and time from their listings and then just purchase whatever the crap you want from the theatre, and I'd be the one to get caught and have my account banned for it because I'm lucky that way. :D
It probably is against their terms and I'm sure they are mining the data for potential abusers. But nobody's going to stop you from seeing the same movie twice if you want to do that occasionally.

Jophiel 08-20-2017 09:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lasciel (Post 20426302)
I had thought about that, but a few thoughts;
First since it's their card I bet they absolutely CAN see what showtime and movie you've actually purchased

Probably not. It's just a debit card. The theater asks the bank for $9.50 for a ticket and the bank gives them the $9.50 -- there's no reason for the bank to ask for or want a record of what movie you saw, whether you ordered the appetizers at a restaurant or what color t-shirt you bought. They would know the time you bought the ticket and which theater you bought it at but that's about it.

Lasciel 08-20-2017 10:10 AM

Huh. So I was looking at people saying they couldn't use the card to buy concessions - so how do they know that then? The price? Or just the theatre employee knows it's not for that and has to keep track?

Little Nemo 08-20-2017 12:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jophiel (Post 20426816)
Probably not. It's just a debit card. The theater asks the bank for $9.50 for a ticket and the bank gives them the $9.50 -- there's no reason for the bank to ask for or want a record of what movie you saw, whether you ordered the appetizers at a restaurant or what color t-shirt you bought. They would know the time you bought the ticket and which theater you bought it at but that's about it.

My understanding is that the debit card is activated through the app. And the app requires you to enter which movie and showtime you're buying a ticket for. The app then transfers money to the debit card so you can buy the ticket.

Now it's not necessary for the app to record anything other than the amount of money being used and who it was transferred to. But the fact that it requires people to enter the movie and showtime make it very likely that this information is being recorded as well. There's no reason why the app would collect that information if it was just discarding it.


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