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MoviePass rolls out a Netflix style service for theatrical movie tickets

10.02.2012

It is amazing to me that this has not existed for years: a subscription service for movie tickets. You would think that avid moviegoers would have made this a reality. Especially today, with inflated ticket prices, MoviePass sounds timelier than ever.

MoviePass has existed for a while now and has tried various methods to get subscribers to sign up. But, unlike Netflix or Blockbuster where you can keep the movies as long as you want and are in the comfort of your own home, MoviePass would require you to actually go to the theater. It works like this: The so-far iPhone-only app allows moviegoers to reserve tickets which they then pay for and pick up at theaters using a pre-paid membership card that acts like a credit card. The monthly price for the currently invite-only service is about $29.99 depending on where you live and ticket prices in that area. But like last time, the program is not “unlimited” and is moving forward without the backing of major exhibitor chains.

So, in theory it sounds good. But, AMC, Regal, and Cinemark are not currently involved with the Warner/AOL backed MoviePass. The pass also does not reserve seats, the iPhone app and card must be within 100 yards of the theater to work, you cannot reserve tickets for anyone but the cardholder nor does it work on 3D movies. So, right now it is pretty limited. On the other hand, you are getting one theatrical movie a day for a month, which comes out to about a dollar a flick. So even if you only go once a week for four weeks you are still saving a good amount of dough.

It is hard to say if this will be take off. If the major theater chains don't come on board, it will certainly flop. I would love to see this somehow become a more inclusive product. I would absolutely reserve tickets using it if I could get more than one at a time.

What do you think? Are you interested in MoviePass?

Extra Tidbit: MoviePass is currently available by invitation only, but if it takes off you can be sure we will tell you about it.
Source: Deadline

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