MoviePass Makes a Major Change to Subscription Plan

Capping movie visits at three per month is a dramatic shift from the company's original promise, but MoviePass says most subscribers won't actually be affected. Instead, subscribers will now be limited to three movies a month, with MoviePass offering a discount of up to $5 for each additional ticket.

What do you think of MoviePass's new plan to become profitable?

The stock price of MoviePass' parent company, Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc., increased 19 percent to close Monday at 8 cents, though it's still down from almost $50 a month ago, adjusted for a reverse stock split.

Under the previous plan, customers could see one movie per day in theaters for a monthly subscription fee.

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The new plan will not affect annual subscribers until their plan is renewed, but monthly subscribers will be moved to the new plan after August 15.

While these changes brought in a rush of new customers, the cost to keep them proved too much for the company to sustain. "While most of our loyal subscribers shared the passion for this new accessible movie experience and experimented fairly, the fact is that a small number have used our business model to a point where it was compromising the business' long-term stability".

MoviePass's CEO, Mitch Lowe, told the Journal that this new three-movie policy will help the service's burn rate. The impact was immediate: the subscriber base has jumped from 20,000 then to over three million today. And it will no longer enforce ticket verification, which required users to take a picture of their ticket stub and submit it to the company as a way to stop abuse of the service. It later said it paid back that loan.

The outage is just the latest struggle for the company. The stock rose 3 cents to 10 cents per share in early trading Monday, soaring over 45 percent on the new plan news. In doing so, MoviePass is rescinding a recent cost-cutting move of barring viewings of most major releases during the first two weeks.

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