SALT LAKE CITY — MoviePass has changed its pricing model once again.
The company announced Monday that it will not raise its prices to $14.95 and will instead stand pat at $9.95 per month
However, there will be new restrictions. Beginning Aug. 15, MoviePass customers can only see three movies per month, a significant drop from the movie-per-day promotion that help the subscription service rise to popularity one year ago.
The company will give customers a $5 discount on any additional movie tickets they hope to buy.
“Because only 15 percent of MoviePass members see four or more movies a month, we expect that the new subscription model will have no impact whatsoever on over 85 percent of our subscribers,” MoviePass said in a press release.
The new plan won’t affect annual subscribers.
Last week, MoviePass jacked its prices from $9.95 to $14.95. The company also said last week it would no longer sell tickets to major blockbuster films, including “The Meg” and “Christopher Robin” this week.
It’s unclear if the new rule will still be in effect, according to Variety.
You can still cancel MoviePass at any time. Upon cancellation, subscribers can’t resubscribe for nine months.
MoviePass has had a rough few weeks as questions surround the company’s owner, Helios & Matheson Analytics, which has been slowly running amount of money.
The analytics company filed an 8-K brief with the Securities and Exchange Commission late last month that said the company paid back the $6.2 million it borrowed from Hudson Bay Capital Management in July, according to Deadline.
HMNY borrowed the $6.2 million to help ease the money spent last weekend for “Mission: Impossible — Fallout.” MoviePass customers complained they couldn’t see the film after the app stopped working because HMNY ran out of money.
Following the “Fallout” incident, the subscription service that once offered a movie ticket per day for $9.95 per month upped its prices to $14.95 per month and made it harder to see specific movies, according to my report for the Deseret News.
"Fans will also find it harder to use their subscription to see blockbuster films opening on more than 1,000 screens. Those films will not be available to MoviePass users in their first two weeks in theaters unless part of a special promotion," according to BuzzFeed.
The company told BuzzFeed it made these changes "to both limit cash burn and stay loyal to its mission to empower the smaller artistic film communities.”
"These changes are meant to protect the longevity of our company and prevent abuse of the service," MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe said, according to BuzzFeed. "While no one likes change, these are essential steps to continue providing the most attractive subscription service in the industry."
MoviePass released a statement last Thursday in which the company pushed back against critics, saying it has not died and is working on new ideas.
“We’re still standing,” the company said.
MoviePass said the company contributes a lot to box office earnings, which critics shouldn’t forget.
"Exhibitors know that without MoviePass they will be able to continue to charge exorbitant prices for theater tickets and gouge customers with overpriced concessions," the statement reads. "This is exactly the attitude the taxicab industry took when Uber entered their market."
MoviePass listed four bullet points about why it’s been successful, saying that it contributed one-fourth of the box office receipts for the movie “Blind Spotting” and 17 percent for “Book Club.”
The company said it accounted for 12 percent of all showings for the documentary “RGB.”
The company said the industry should celebrate MoviePass.
"Instead of wishing us away, the industry, particularly the independent film producers, should be congratulating and supporting us,” the statement read.1 comment on this story
MoviePass’ statement came during the same week the company has faced immense struggles. Two weeks ago, the app shut down because parent company Helios & Matheson Analytics ran out of money. The app came back online shortly after for some, though others complained the app wasn’t working completely.
All of this has occurred as rumors swirled that HMNY is close to a potential buyout from a student-run venture fund.
Oh, and AMC’s own subscription service, called AMC Stubs A-List, reported it's seen better-than-expected numbers in its first month.
“So yes, MoviePass is still kicking — if you can get it to work — and with no immediate plans to dissolve the business,” according to Mashable. “Based on that statement, at least we know they've got spunk.”