Geek Review: MoviePass

Anyone who follows this site (hi, Jimmy!) knows I go to the movies rather frequently, at least once a week.

As such, when MoviePass dropped its monthly subscription price from $50 a month to $10, I decided to give it a shot.  Some thoughts below.

OK, so here’s the deal:  sign up for MoviePass, pay $10 a month, and you can get yourself a ticket to one movie a day, every day.  The only limits are no 3-D shows or IMAX screens or the like.  Even opening night is fine.  No restrictions with participating theaters.

Now, that said, here are a few things you should know.  That 80% price drop means a lot of people signed up for this service, moreso than they might have expected.  As such, though the website said I would get my MoviePass card within 5 to 7 business days, an e-mail came in a few days after I placed my order telling me it would really be 2-3 weeks.  My card showed up maybe 4 weeks later.

But the good news is, the card seemed to work fine.

So, here’s the lowdown:

  • When you order, you get a debit-like card in the mail.
  • Using a smartphone app, you go to the movies and tell the app what movie you want to see.  Money is transferred to your card to pay for your ticket.
  • You can go as much as once a day.
  • The app gives details on which movie theaters it’s good for.  Good news, though, in that it looks like it works at most movie theaters, or at least the ones in my area that I use on a frequent basis.  You can probably check the company’s website to see if it works for your preferred movie theater.

Now, there are some downsides.

  • You can only get a ticket for yourself.  If someone else is with you, like a date or your kids or something, you can’t use it to buy a ticket for anyone but yourself.
  • You can’t preorder a ticket for a future date.  You can only buy one same-day.
  • You may have to actually be at the movie theater or close to it for the app to work.
  • I had a hard time finding an explanation for how to activate the card when I received it.  E-mails from the company indicated that I needed to use the app, but the app did not seem to offer any instructions on how to do so, nor did the company’s website.  I found the answer with a Google search that took me to Reddit, and the card is activated by using it for the first time.  You will need to be within 100 yards of the theater when you use it the first time for sure.
  • You will be charged the initial $10 when you subscribe, but you will not be charged again until 30 days after activation.

But did it work?  Yeah, it did.  I used it for both The Snowman and Geostorm over the weekend without a single problem.

So, this being Gabbing Geek, Watson was wondering how MoviePass is planning to actually make money.  I have no idea.  For someone like myself, I will be saving a lot of money.  I suppose MoviePass is planning to make money the same way gyms do by having more people sign up and not use it.  Quite frankly, if you are not going to the movies at least twice a month, I wouldn’t recommend this service.

But me?  I go at least once a week.  This will work for me.

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