Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the movies… MoviePass is back.
For those of you who don’t remember (or were too young to care at the time), MoviePass was a subscription service that allowed users to see one movie per day for a monthly fee. While it was a great deal for movie lovers, it turns out the business model just wasn’t sustainable. The company went bankrupt and shut down in September 2019.
But like a phoenix rising from the ashes, MoviePass is back. Or at least, it’s trying to be. The new and improved MoviePass 2.0 promises to be more sustainable this go-round.
But the question remains: do we care? Are Millennials and Gen Zers even interested in going to the movies anymore, given all the other streaming options available?
What Happened To MoviePass?
In case you’re not familiar, here’s a quick recap of what happened to MoviePass.
The company launched in 2011 and quickly gained a loyal following among movie lovers. For just $10 per month, subscribers could see one movie per day, every day of the week.
It was an incredible deal — one that seemed too good to be true. And as it turned out, it was.
The company lost money on almost every ticket it sold. And considering it had roughly three million monthly subscribers at its peak, MoviePass burned through its capital very, very quickly.
MoviePass soon ran into financial trouble and was forced to increase prices and scale back benefits to stay afloat. In September 2019, the company announced it was suspending service indefinitely because “its efforts to recapitalize MoviePass had not been successful to date.”
Just two months later, they officially filed for bankruptcy. #awkward
What Does MoviePass 2.0 Look Like?
Just three years after shutting down, MoviePass is back — or at least it’s trying to be. The company released a waitlist for its beta launch in September 2022, with a few changes designed to make the service more sustainable.
First of all, prices have increased significantly. A monthly subscription now costs $10, $20, or $30 per month depending on your location (still not a bad deal, considering the average ticket price).
Secondly, subscribers now get a set number of credits to spend at movie theaters throughout the month. Seeing a movie during peak times will cost more credits (and vice versa).
How the Pricing Breaks Down
The company hasn’t released a ton of info on how its credit system will work, but one thing’s for sure — it’ll be a more stripped-down version of its previous service.
Business Insider was one of a few media to get a special sneak peek at MoviePass’s new pricing tiers. According to a recent article, they’re expected to break down like this:
- Basic plan: $10 per month, good for 1 to 3 movies
- Standard plan: $20 per month, good for 2 to 4 movies
- Pro plan: $30 per month, good for 3 to 5 movies
As you can see, how good of a deal MoviePass is will largely depend on when you go to see movies. If you can hit off-peak times, you’ll get more bang for your buck.
There’s just one big bummer, though — MoviePass doesn’t currently support IMAX movies, just standard ones. So if you’re used to seeing the big screen in all its maximum image glory, it could be a deal breaker.
Do Millennials and Gen Z Care that MoviePass is Back?
All this talk about MoviePass 2.0 is great. But let’s be real: Millennials and Gen Z are the streaming generation. As someone who’s a part of this generation herself, I can confidently say that we love our Netflix and Hulu and staying cozy in our sweatpants on the couch. (Can I get an amen?!)
In fact, Millennials and Gen Z love video streaming services so much that 91% of us say we’d give up our fave social media, food, or even fashion items before giving up our fave video streaming service.
This begs the question: do Millennials and Gen Z even care that MoviePass is back? I mean, are we really about to put on real pants and visit our local movie theater — especially after everything that’s happened during the pandemic?
Spoiler Alert: The Data Looks Promising
Turns out, the answer is a strong… maybe.
About 45% of Gen Z and 41% of Millennials say it’s been difficult to maintain good relationships with friends throughout the pandemic. It’s no secret that COVID threw a major curveball in our plans and social lives — and Gen Z experienced the most stress of all.
But as the world opens back up — and our longing for community increases — it’s not far-fetched to believe that movie theaters could be an ideal spot to meet up with pals on the reg’.
Personally, I’ve never been much of a movie-goer. And part of me thought I’d never step foot into a theater again after the pandemic hit. But now that restrictions are lifting and I’m fully vaccinated, I’ve already visited my local theater a few times with friends. It’s been a great way to “hang out” in a public space and share an experience together without having to spend a ton of money.
And considering 463,000 people signed up for the MoviePass waitlist within 24 hours of its opening, I’d say enough people care about it for it to become a real thing again.
Where Can You Sign Up for the New MoviePass?
The waitlist for MoviePass opened on August 25 and closed on August 29. So, unfortunately, it’s not currently active.
After receiving more than 750,000 sign-ups total, the company decided to roll out its services to those in Chicago, Dallas, and Kansas City first. So for now, this is the beta market.
Our guess is, MoviePass is going slow to avoid a lot of the mistakes it made in 2019. If you’re interested in signing up, hopping on their email list may be the best way to stay in the loop.
The Bottom Line
So what’s our verdict? Is MoviePass 2.0 worth it? We think so! Sure, it’s not as good as it used to be… but if you’re a big movie fan — or are just looking for cheap ways to hang with friends — it could be worth subscribing.
And for those of you who (like me) are part of the streaming generation, who says we can’t do both? The more dire question is: will MoviePass’s new business model be sustainable enough to keep it around long-term? Only time will tell.
Featured image: Stock-Asso/Shutterstock.com