Binge watching at home has become a standard for any movie and TV fan, but binge watching at the theater for the same price as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime? That could be the future.
MoviePass, an app and service that provides its customers "unlimited" movie tickets for a monthly fee, just dropped its price from $40 a month to $10. The new subscription plan from the six-year-old company works for any non-IMAX or 3D movie at 91 percent of the theaters in the country.
The CEO of MoviePass, former Netflix executive Mitch Lowe, sat down with Circa to talk about his company's "relaunch."
So, customers pay $10 a month and they get to see "unlimited" movies at the theater? And that's any movie at a participating theater?
Yes. You can see a movie a day. You download the app, we send you a MoviePass MasterCard ... They process it and give you a ticket. We pay the bill on that credit card.
And $5 a month for unlimited popcorn, too, or no?
Hah. We're working on an unlimited concession plan.
But seriously, an average movie costs $12 or so, right? That means you're losing money after each customer's first movie of the month. As a business model, that's very gracious to your subscribers...
Hah. It is! But how does that work?
We've figured out a way to get you to go to the movies more often and to enjoy it more. And, in fact, we have six or seven ways that we'll make money, but not now. First, we have to get millions of subscribers so that we can drive people to independent films, medium films and then work with the studios to get compensated for getting people into the movies.
You're a former executive at Netflix. Something they did to bolster their unlimited watching offerings is get into the production side. To make sure there's quality on there, they're making it themselves. Any chance MoviePass gets into that?
You know, I can see us working with the independent film community to help launch their opening weekend. Our subscribers, because they have no incremental cost of going to a movie, when say, "Hey, there's a great movie opening up in Chelsea at the Chelsea Theater. It starts at seven o'clock. Based on the other movies you've seen, we think you're going to love it..."
...So bringing more movies – independent films – to theaters might be a goal, but not necessarily signing Adam Sandler for a long run of MoviePass originals?
I think anything is possible.