MoviePass: Everything you need to know

Unless you've been living under a rock lately, there's a good chance you've heard a thing or two about MoviePass. Although the company was founded way back in 2011, it's picked up a lot of steam over the past year or so with its too-good-to-be-true offer of allowing you to see one movie per day for just $9.95/month.

MoviePass has become one of the most disruptive companies of recent memory, and whether you're looking for the latest controversies or want to learn more about the service before you sign up, you've come to the right place.

Without further ado, this is everything you need to know about MoviePass!

The latest MoviePass news

July 31, 2018 —MoviePass is raising its price to $14.95/month, First Run Movies will be limited in availability for the first two weeks

In an official press release issued by MoviePass's parent company Helios & Matheson, a few big changes were announced as an effort for MoviePass to cut its cash burn by 60%

Perhaps the biggest change is with the service's cost. The iconic $9.95/month plan that allows you to see one new movie per day will be increased to $14.95/month within the next 30 days. Even with the higher monthly rate, Peak Pricing isn't going anywhere.

It was also confirmed that "First Run Movies opening on 1,000+ Screens" will see limited availability during their first two weeks of release unless the studio makes a promotional deal with MoviePass. From the way the press release reads, that sounds like yet another limitation on top of the restrictions we heard about yesterday for movies like The Meg and Christopher Robin.

July 30, 2018 — MoviePass CEO says subscribers will no longer be able to watch big, well-known movies

Following an outage that's been affecting customers all throughout the weekend and today, Business Insider reported that MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe called for an "all-hands meeting" in which he confirmed that the app will no longer allow users to see "big upcoming movies."

This means that you won't be able to use your MoviePass to see titles such as The Meg, Christopher Robin, etc.

Users first got a taste of this practice earlier this week when they were blocked from seeing Mission Impossible: Fallout at theaters that weren't partnered with MoviePass to support E-Ticketing, but from the sound of things, all theaters will be blocked from upcoming big releases going forward. Apparently, Lowe noted that this change will be in effect for the foreseeable future.

Aka, MoviePass is dead.

July 27, 2018 — MoviePass experiences widespread outage due to a lack of cash; parent company borrows $5 million to keep the lights on

If you tried using your MoviePass last night, chances are things didn't work out so well. At 5:12 PM ET on Thursday, July 26, MoviePass announced on its Twitter account that it was aware of "an issue that is preventing users from checking-in to movies." In the interim, it was said you could still use the app at theaters that accept E-Ticketing with MoviePass without any problem.

Today, Business Insider confirmed that the reason for this outage was that MoviePass ran out of cash and couldn't afford to pay its payment processor that handles the physical MoviePass cards.

Following this, parent company Helios and Matheson announced through an SEC filing that it's decided to borrow $5 million in cash to keep things running. It's being reported that some users are still unable to check-in to showtimes even after the additonal funds were borrowed, so keep an eye on MoviePass's Twitter page for further updates.

July 12, 2018 — Support for IMAX and 3D movies will be available by September 3

While the addition of Peak Pricing isn't the most welcome change to hit MoviePass, CEO Mitch Lowe recently shared some good news with Business Insider.

According to Lowe, MoviePass subscribers will be able to see IMAX, 3D, and other premium showings by Labor Day (September 3). A charge of $2 - $5 will be applied for these more expensive formats, but considering that IMAX tickets can cost as much as $20+ per ticket, that's still a good value even with the $9.99/month recurring fee in mind.

As for MoviePass's other new feature, Bring-A-Guest, that should also be rolled out around the same time.

Lastly, Lowe noted that Peak Pricing will be implemented for all MoviePass subscribers by the end of the month.

July 5, 2018 — Peak Pricing is now rolling out to all MoviePass users

After being announced late last month, MoviePass is officially launching its new Peak Pricing system.

Like we mentioned in the last news update, Peak Pricing will add a small surcharge to certain showtimes based on the movie you're seeing and what time it's playing. A red lightning bolt icon next to a showtime indicates that it is affected by Peak Pricing while a grey-colored one notes that Peak Pricing may go into effect for it soon.

If you're checking in for a show with Peak Pricing, you'll see a confirmation screen highlighting the amount you'll be charged.

MoviePass notes that Peak Pricing is "rolling out gradually over the next several weeks."

June 22, 2018 — MoviePass Peak Pricing, Bring-A-Guest, and Premium Showings

Get ready, folks. There's a lot changing with MoviePass, so let's dive right into the big highlights:

  • Bring-A-Guest: If you're going to the movies with a friend or family member that doesn't have MoviePass, you can purchase their ticket from the MoviePass app. You'll still pay the full ticket price, but it should make the ticket-buying process a bit more seamless. You can pick a seat for you and your guest if you're going to a theater that supports e-ticketing and reserved seating, and if your friend signs up for MoviePass without 24 hours of your showtime, you'll get a full refund for the ticket price.

  • Peak Pricing: For showtimes where "the combination of demand for a title, date or part of day is higher", you'll need to pay a "small additional fee" for your ticket. You can avoid the added cost by seeing a different movie or seeing that same title on a different day, and MoviePass will give you a Peak Pass once a month that waives the fee for you. If you're billed annually or quarterly, you won't be subject to Peak Pricing until your subscription resets.

  • Premium Showings: No matter what plan you're on, you'll have the option of seeing RealD 3D, 2D IMAX, 3D, and other Premium Large Format movies by paying an upgrade fee.

MoviePass says these features will be rolling out to members "in the coming weeks."

June 11, 2018 — A family plan is coming!

Since MoviePass's inception, one of the features users have been asking for the most is a family plan. We've been waiting and waiting for something along these lines to be announced, and on June 11, Helios and Matheson Analytics CEO (MoviePass's parent company) Ted Farnsworth confirmed that a family plan is, in fact, in the works.

With MoviePass's family plan, you'll be able to book tickets for you and your family members/significant other all in one app/transaction. There won't be any sort of discount for the family plan, but the added convenience of not having to bother with multiple apps and subscriptions will be a welcome treat.

Farnsworth said that they "might do something down the road to get more of a discount for the family plan", but it's unclear if/when that'll happen.

April 27, 2018 — You can no longer see the same movie more than once

Well, I suppose we all knew this day would come sooner or later.

On April 27, MoviePass updated its Terms of Service so that it reads as follows:

We recently updated our Terms of Service to reflect that MoviePass subscribers are only permitted to see a select movie in theaters once with your MoviePass. We hope this will encourage you to see new movies and enjoy something different!

In other words, you only get to watch Infinity War once with your MoviePass. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

All the important details

There are two plans to choose from

Right now, you've got two options to choose from if you want to get MoviePass — MoviePass and MoviePass Unlimited.

The former of those two costs $7.95/month and lets you see three movies per month.

While it's nice that MoviePass has this available if you want to save a couple bucks each month, I'd recommend going all the way with MoviePass Unlimited. For $9.95/month, you can watch one new movie per day in theaters every single day.

Both plans are billed monthly and can be canceled at any time.

See at MoviePass

E-ticketing makes everything easier

MoviePass is regularly partnering with more and more theater chains to support e-ticketing, and if you happen to live near one that offers this, you're in for a real treat.

For theaters that don't support e-ticketing, using MoviePass requires you to be within 100 yards of the theater you're going to, check-in to the showtime on your phone, and then swipe your card to get your ticket. If the showing happens to sell out by the time you get to the theater, you can either choose another movie or call it a night.

However, if there's a theater near you that does support e-ticketing, the process is way simpler. Once you find the showtime you want to go to, a "Get E-Ticket" button will pop up instead of the "Check In" one.

E-tickets can't be canceled once you buy them, but they do have the added benefit of allowing you buy them wherever you are. Also, if you're theater supports e-ticketing and reserved seating, you can even choose your seat right from the MoviePass app! Once you get to the theater, just type in the redemption code for your e-ticket or scan the QR code.

Right now, e-ticketing with MoviePass works at Goodrich Quality Theaters, Studio Movie Grill, and MJR Theaters.

Only 2D movies are supported, at least for now

As it currently stands, you can only use your MoviePass to watch regular 2D movies. In the near future, however, that will soon be changing.

By Labor Day (September 3), MoviePass will allow you to pay an upgrade fee to see RealD 3D, IMAX 2D, 3D, and other Premium Large Format movies.

That fee will range between $2 - $5 depending on what kind of premium show you're seeing.

You can't rewatch movies

As good of a deal as MoiePass is, it's not without a few limits here and there — the first of which is the fact that you can't rewatch movies.

MoviePass experimented with letting people rewatch the same movie over and over again for a few months but eventually decided to revoke the right to prevent ticket-scalping and other misuses of the service.

It would certainly be nice to have the option of seeing a movie again that you particularly like, but don't expect this to come back anytime soon.

You can still benefit from your theater's loyalty program

If your theater has a loyalty program that rewards you with points for buying tickets and concessions, you can link it up to your MoviePass account and still get rewarded for the tickets you "buy" with your MoviePass subscription.

As it currently stands, you can link loyalty programs from Goodrich Quality Theaters, D Place Entertainment, and Starlight Cinemas.

It's an admittedly small list right now, but it's one that should only grow more and more as time goes on.

What's the deal with Peak Pricing?

MoviePass is always trying to find ways of adapting its business model as more and more people join, and one of those latest efforts is seen with Peak Pricing. On June 22, MoviePass said the following:

Under this plan, if the combination of demand for a title, date or part of day is higher, subscribers may be asked to pay a small additional fee depending on the level of demand. You can avoid this peak surcharge by choosing an alternative date or film.

In the MoviePass app, showtimes that are affected by Peak Pricing will be indicated by a red lightning bolt icon next to them. If a showtime isn't currently in Peak Pricing but might enter it soon, you'll see a grey icon.

The surcharge you'll need to pay is entirely dependent on the movie and time, but as a point of reference, the screenshots MoviePass shared show a surcharge of $3.43. Thankfully, MoviePass will launch Peak Passes in the coming weeks that'll allow you to waive the Peak Pricing fee once per month.

Peak Pricing officially launched on July 5 and is rolling out to users over the coming weeks. If you're currently subscribed to an annual or quarterly plan, you won't have to deal with Peak Pricing until your plan ends and renews.

Be mindful of the device authorization limit

If you're someone that lives the two phone life or frequently goes from device to device, you'll want to keep MoviePass's device authorization limit in mind.

To "keep your account secure", MoviePass only allows you to be signed into the MoviePass app on one phone at a time. However, if you do get a new phone or need to sign into another one for whatever reason, you can log into your account on another phone every 30 days.

Just download the app, enter your credentials, and confirm that you want to use that as your authorized device.

Updated July 12, 2018: Updated the plan information now that the iHeartRadio promo is over and added more details about premium movies.

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