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MoviePass Tops 400,000 Subscribers

14 Sep, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel

The beleaguered theatrical movie market could be generating positive buzz for change after embracing a third-party monthly subscription business model. MoviePass Sept. 14 announced it surpassed 400,000 paying subs in the past 30 days — up from 20,000 a month ago. 

The $9.95 monthly service gives subs one regular (no 3D or Imax) movie ticket per day online or at the box office, and is redeemable at most theatrical chains — except AMC Theatres.

The New York-based service jumpstarted consumer interest after dropping the monthly fee from $30 — likely a result of recent CEO hire Mitch Lowe, who cut his teeth co-launching Redbox and Netflix. The lower price has resulted in delays (up to three weeks) shipping membership cards due to the demand.

Participating theaters have reported more than 400% increased attendance, according to MoviePass.

“I think it’s positive for the industry,” said Eric Wold, analyst at B. Riley & Co. in Los Angeles. “The exhibitors I have spoken with are very happy.”

MoviePass expects to acquire an additional 2.5 million paying subscribers over the next 12 months, including retaining at least 2.1 million of those subs at the end of that period.

Lowe admits MoviePass is expensive to theatrical chains upfront due to the reduced box office ticket sales, but a revenue driver in the long term when factoring in increased attendance and concessions.

“With MoviePass, there’s no movie ticket price to think about. Going to the movies will become an everyday experience rather than an occasional treat,” he said.

Indeed, a survey of 30,000 subs found that 75% of respondents said they only went to the movies due to being a MoviePass member. That's good news for a theatrical business that saw double-digit revenue declines over the summer. 

About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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