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MoviePass Is Rising From The Ashes With A Unique Subscription Model

Going to the movies these days can be a rather expensive endeavor. Besides the outrageously priced snacks and beverages, ticket prices themselves typically hover around $15, give or take, depending on one's location and time. Spending approximately $30 per person isn't entirely unheard of once popcorn, candy, soda, and a ticket are all added up. As such, going to the movie theaters is usually something that has to be planned or budgeted to truly appreciate the experience.

As reported by Bloomberg, MoviePass started in 2011 with the novel idea of paying a monthly subscription fee to subsidize the price of movie tickets. Created by Stacy Spikes and Hamet Watt, the first iteration of MoviePass used a voucher and tier system that allowed users to watch one movie per month, two, or more depending on the selected plan, but that was later scrapped. Eventually, MoviePass was purchased by the firm Helios and Matheson in 2017, and an unlimited plan was put forth for around $10 a month. Unfortunately, this business model proved to be unsustainable, and both the parent firm and MoviePass filed for bankruptcy in 2019, as noted by CNN. Like the mythological phoenix, MoviePass will soon be back, but what has changed, and what is their new business model?

MoviePass is starting up with a beta program with multiple price tiers

Business Insider was the first to break the news, and it looks like MoviePass is back in the hands of co-founder Stacy Spikes with a new business model. The new model entirely scraps the unlimited option and will launch with $10, $20, and $30 options, depending on the user's location. At the moment, there is no plan to bring back the fabled unlimited model, and the different tiers will offer corresponding credits at movie theaters. Those that are interested in this new incarnation of MoviePass can sign up for the beta launch over at their website, which will officially start on Labor Day with an initial round of invites. It will be interesting to see how this new version of MoviePass will be received, considering that many theater chains have appropriated the subscription model of the service, and some are in the middle of bankruptcy themselves. 

During an interview in early 2022 with IndieWire, Spikes was asked about the original plans, and the shift to an unlimited model, to which he replied, "I was never in support of an unlimited plan, which means I can go every day. That idea never entered our lexicon until HMNY (Helios and Matheson), suggested it as a stunt to get traffic. That had never even come up until the summer of 2017. Never while I was CEO, ever, did I ever promote a $9.99 all-you-can-eat, go every day plan. That's suicide." Although we will probably never see an unlimited option again, it is nice to see somebody attempting to tackle the daunting cost of going to the movies, considering that the industry is once again picking up foot traffic