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July 31, 2018

MoviePass: Everything you need to know

by John_A

Here’s your one-stop-shop for all the MoviePass news, controversies, and more.

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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 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 forseeable 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.

All the important details

There are two plans to choose from

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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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