MoviePass can blame people like me for its problems

FILE - In this Jan. 30, 2018 file photo, Cassie Langdon holds her MoviePass card outside AMC Indianapolis 17 theatre in Indianapolis. The startup that lets customers watch a movie a day at theaters for just $10 a month, is limiting new customers to just four movies a month. The move comes as customers and industry experts question the sustainability of MoviePass’ business model. Because MoviePass is paying most theaters the full price of the ticket, the service is in the red with just one or two movies in a month. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

I am the reason MoviePass is having trouble. Me and people like me, that is.

Pretty soon, it might have to be called MoviePast — the company that used to allow customers to see a movie a day for as little as $7.50 a month until it became so popular that it went out of business.

This is like the old “I Love Lucy” episode. She and Ethel were losing money on every bottle of salad dressing sold but were going to make a profit via volume.

That’s the formula for going broke.

MoviePass charged me an $89.95 annual fee up front at the end of last November. I could have paid $9.95 a month, or $119.40 a year — but what can I say? I’m cheap.

Every time I saw a movie and used my MoviePass, the company would pay the theater the full price of a ticket — say $12.

According to MoviePass data, I have seen 54 movies since last November. Yes, I forced myself to go to movies I didn’t even want to see. If I fell asleep during the show, I went to see it again — something MoviePass no longer allows.

Based on the 54 movies, MoviePass recorded revenue of $1.66 per film for each $12 it handed over to the movie theater.

How could MoviePass possibly make money on a deal like that? By hoping, I guess, that other people who paid their fee would forget to go to movies. (Or maybe by selling my movie-going data to other firms — something that has become a no-no since Facebook got excoriated for doing it. )

Well, apparently there weren’t many customers who paid and then didn’t show up for films.

There are still four months left on my MoviePass membership, so my per-film revenue is likely to head lower. I’m shooting for a buck a movie.

MoviePass recently had some “technical” problems with its app before it “solved” them by borrowing $5 million. To fix its, ahem, cash flow problem, it recently announced that subscribers won’t be able to see the hottest, just-released movies and raised its monthly price by $5.

My movie-going experiment will probably have to slow down with MoviePass’ new rules. But I’m still ahead $558 on that initial investment of $89.95.

Source: Read Full Article