With the 2017 box office hitting a 24-year low, (and forecast to be worse this year) the question of how movie theaters will survive in the long run has come up again. While more theaters have started offering booze and other big ideas to entice customers, one company that keeps coming up in the conversation is MoviePass, which has come to be known as the “Netflix for movie theaters.” Whereas Netflix helped redefine how we watch TV at home, MoviePass wants to offer up the same type of service for movie theaters via a flat-rate monthly subscription. But will it work? So far, the process has not been without bumps.
MoviePass has been around in some form or another since 2011, but at the end of 2017 the company lowered its subscription price, which resulted in a surge of membership — and with it lingering questions about how the service works, if it’s really beneficial to movie theaters, and whether or not it’s a sustainable option for theater-goers.
MoviePass charges a monthly service fee of $9.95, which gives members the chance to see up to one movie per day, every day. Once you’re near the theater, you select your ticket via MoviePass’ smartphone app, and swipe the special prepaid debit card when picking it up. Outside of the monthly subscription fee, there’s no added cost, even if you head out to the theater on a daily basis.