I have gone to more movies in the past year than I have in the last two years before that combined. The reason? Moviepass. And I am not the only one. People subscribed to the service have felt free to see more movies than they normally would because they do not have to shell out $12 every time they do. The experience of going to a theater can be very expensive. Tickets are overpriced, and on top of that, the snacks they sell are overpriced. So the offer of unlimited movies at only $9.99 a month was a no-brainer. The problem? Moviepass had an awful business plan.
They were charging less than the cost of a single ticket, so they lost money every single time someone used their product. In order for them to make a profit, people would have had to subscribe, but see less than a movie a month. Gyms do something similar, with most of their profit coming from people who pay their gym membership, but barely use it. But the difference is, it does not cost the gym more money than they make every time someone uses it. So in reality, they were offering to give you free money.
Because of this, they burned through money very quickly, and are on the verge of collapsing as a company. Moviepass probably will not survive, but the concept of a subscription service for movies should live on.
It is a product that people want, and a product that will greatly benefit movies theaters, and studios alike. Moviepass did not have a good formula. Their goal seemed to be to hope they could reach a point of mass that would force the movie theaters to work with them so they could work out profit-sharing deals. But they only managed to piss theaters off with their demands, and managed to piss their subscribers off anytime they had to scale back to save money. their price point was way too small, and they did not have the leverage to raise it or to broker a deal to make it work with theaters.
But theaters themselves could make it work. Maybe not at such a customer friendly price point, but they could still offer amazing deals, without having to lose money like Moviepass would. Theaters make the majority of their profit not from ticket sales, but from concession sales. In fact, according to an article from Time Magazine, concessions make up 85% of Movie Theater profits.
So, if they were to offer a deal to customers, let’s say $15 a month for unlimited movies, it could end up lowering the money they make from ticket sales, but it could, in theory, boost their concession sales. More patrons, means more people buying snacks. That is just a fact. But it is not just that. If people no longer have to pay at the ticket window, they may be more willing to spend the money they saved, on snacks.
Moviepass may die, but Theaters need to pick up where it left off. There is a clear need for this type of service, and the theaters are way better equipped to handle it than a 3rd party company like Moviepass is. They can make the money from the subscription service they offer, and enjoy the probably increase in concessions that will come with it.
The movie studios themselves probably also have an interest in this. I mean I would have never spent money on certain movies, but with Moviepass in business, they still got me to buy a ticket. There has to be some type of agreement theaters and studios can come to keep some type of service like Moviepass alive. It benefits everyone.