Mitch Lowe Named CEO of MoviePass28 Jun, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Mitch Lowe, who helped launch Netflix and Redbox, June 28 was named CEO and board member of MoviePass, a start-up subscription service for theatrical movies.
Priced from $30 monthly, MoviePass gives subscribers unlimited access to a 2D theatrical movie every 24 hours across 33,000 screens nationwide. Imax and 3D releases are available at AMC theaters in Boston and Denver. Subscriptions are utilized via mandatory mobile phone and billed to a credit card, which can be canceled anytime.
Co-founded by Stacy Spikes with a reported $3.7 million in venture funding, MoviePass aims to bring Millennials back to cineplexes. With the demographic a mainstay with Netflix and Redbox, Lowe was hired fulltime.
“Over the past two years, Mitch has been a trusted advisor and has shown an incredible commitment to our mission. We are confident his skills, knowledge and successful track record will greatly benefit the MoviePass team,” Spikes said in a statement.
He and co-founder Hamet Watt launched MoviePass last year after learning that while box office revenue was up, frequent moviegoer attendance was down 10%. With more than 14% of the 2015 domestic box office attributed to Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Jurassic World, Spikes realized younger people were going to the movies less often.
The culprit: increasing movie ticket prices in an era of low-cost subscription service.
“Whether this is a strategy by the industry or a natural function of the economy doesn’t matter too much, but I would argue this price point is what is making a monthly movie commitment a tough pill to swallow for people,” he said.
The executive contends the subscription service will encourage frequenting the movie theater — especially in the summer — thereby increasing concession sales as well.
“I saw the subscription service as a godsend: I’d see three movies a month and everything after that was paid for. Boom, a no-brainer,” Spikes said.
Notably, despite Lowe’s history with Redbox, a MoviePass representative said there are currently no plans to link the subscription services.