You'd be forgiven for not knowing what MoviePass is. Although the service launched in early 2011, it never really became a household name. And now, thanks to a very controversial new pricing model, it's plastered all over the Internet. The new $10 per month fee seems way too good to be true, and yet it is true. For just ten bucks a month, subscribers can see one theatrical movie per day. For ten bucks. A measly Hamilton. Most theaters (I'm guessing, as I live in a rural area) charge more than ten bucks per viewing, and MoviePass is letting you see thirty movies (or thirty-one, depending) a month for ten dollars. Consumers are ecstatic. Movie theaters less so.

AMC Theaters released a statement soon after the price change, saying that they're consulting with their attorneys to see if and how they can effectively block MoviePass from being accepted at their theaters. I was informed today by my local cinema that MoviePass can be used at any theater that accepts debit cards, meaning that blocking the service might be a difficult thing to do.

AMC's big issue is one of sustainability, and they're not wrong to worry. As soon as a subscriber watches more than one movie, MoviePass is footing the bill, and it's not hard to rack up a bill of hundreds, all but $10 of which would be on the service.

In their Statement, AMC said “that price level is unsustainable and only sets up consumers for ultimate disappointment down the road if or when the product can no longer be fulfilled." Again, they make an excellent point. Thanks to services like Netflix and Hulu, we've become accustomed to paying next to nothing for each individual piece of home media, and MoviePass will likely have the same effect on theatrical releases; if this succeeds, that is.

There's another side to it, though. Theaters make most (and in some cases with smaller theaters, all) of their money off of concessions, in case you were wondering why popcorn prices are so high. In my case, saving so much money on movies means that I'll be more inclined to buy snacks when I go to my local theater, so they'll be getting more money out of me than they usually would.


There are plenty of variables in this situation, so it will be curious to see how it plays out. MoviePass' price change is in effect already, but as of the time of this writing, the website is inaccessible.

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