MoviePass is back, better, and maybe more confusing than before
MoviePass has made its long-awaited return as it launches a new subscription service in the United States.
We first saw the service as a limited beta all the way back in September 2022. It looks like the current version is mostly the same as the original although it is a bit more expansive. The way it works is you pay a monthly fee to watch a certain number of movies in theaters without having to buy a ticket. There are four tiers with prices ranging from $10 up to $40. However, rather than giving people a flat number of films they can watch in a month, MoviePass opts for a credit system with each tier giving users a fixed amount to use.
The $10 Basic tier offers the least, with 34 credits that allow people to watch somewhere between one to three movies a month. The $20 Standard Plan gives 72 credits for three to seven viewings a month. Premium ($30 a month) gives 113 credits for five to eleven films.
The most expensive plan, the $40 Pro, grants 640 credits allowing people to watch up to 30 movies across 30 days. You can think of Pro as the “spiritual successor” to the previous (and disastrous) version of MoviePass.
A MoviePass representative told us the cost (in credits) of a single movie is tied to the “day of the week” plus what time you’re watching, although they didn’t provide any further details. A recent report from TechCrunch claims Tuesdays are the cheapest whereas opening weekends are one of the more expensive options. Unused credits do roll over to the next month. Company CEO Stacy Spikes told TechCrunch people “can have up to a maximum of two months of unused credits” on their account.
These prices are for the general user in the US. The plans are more expensive if you live in either Southern California or the New York metropolitan area. Basic is $20, Standard is $30, Premium is $40, and Pro is $60 with no option to purchase a cheaper tier, according to a company representative. But users in those areas do get roughly double the number of credits. Standard, for example, offers 140 in Los Angeles instead of 72.
As for why MoviePass is adopting this system, the company states it lets members “choose the plan that best suits their viewing habits and budget.” The idea is whether you’re a casual theatergoer or a movie nerd, there’s something for everyone.
There are a couple of things we haven’t mentioned yet. You can’t watch 3D movies with the subscription, although there are plans to include “large format and premium screens” (presumably IMAX) soon. The service is supported by over 4,000 theaters across the country. A full list of every location can be found on the official website. The service is now open – just in time for Memorial Day. This holiday should provide an interesting proving ground for MoviePass.
We asked the same representative if they could provide us with exact numbers on how much it’ll cost to watch a film because that’s the one piece of information strangely missing from all this. And if there are plans for an international launch. This story will be updated at a later time.