Movie pass is trying anything it can to hold on to its capital and its place market in the face of new competition and even more dangerous the fact that it can’t make money if people use its service the way it is advertised. If most of its customers went to the movies 10 or more times a month the service would probably collapse under its own debt without any interference from AMC or the Alamo Draft House.
Now along with the implementation of surge pricing which will ask users to pay around 3 dollars for movies that fall under the services incredibly vague parameters, the service will also require that users take a picture of their ticket stubs for each time they use their Movie Pass card. The picture will be uploaded to the app so that Movie Pass “protect our service from fraudulent activity to ensure that MoviePass is sustainable for the entire community”.
Movie pass has never released any information indicating that there was any fraudulent activity taking place or warned users about given practices. Only put more and more rules in place regarding how the service can be used. The penalty for not taking a picture of the ticket stub will be the cancelation of a users membership. The service did not indicate as to whether a user would be refunded their money. Here is our guess. They won’t. The crux of the services argument is outlined below from an email I received as a MoviePass member.
Why would movie pass put itself in position to lose paying customers? It must not make enough money off of them. Like the surge pricing model, the policy is probably aimed at the power users out there who go to a few movies a week. People who use the service so frequently that they cost it 150 dollars a month who may forget a few times along the way considering that they are not used to using it that way. The new surge pricing has no actual rules to explain how it will work and when the pricing changes. Will it affect a user going to a nearly empty Monday afternoon showing? Will it arbitrarily go into effect on every Friday night and weekend showing regardless of the crowd? Will it make it impossible to find a showing of the hot movie of the week no matter when you go? We’ll see.
When I jumped in with movie pass at the start of the summer I strongly considered the idea that I might not have it next summer. The moves the company is making appear to show that it is a company sinking under its own weight. Like other paradigm-changing technology, it is likely to reshape the industry by pushing more theater chains to imitate it with more sustainable models built on food sales and more. But Movie Pass has no other way to make money other than increasing its prices and fees to the point of annoying its most dedicated users into dropping it all together. Does it make sense to anyone that despite the fact that you can only use Movie Pass within 100 yards of a movie and that you have to check in, reserve a ticket for a specific movie already that now you have to take a picture of the ticket too? This kind of verification boarders on travel compensation for government workers or employees of major companies. Its obvious they hope their users are too lazy or absent-minded to pay attention to the rules.
The service does not have that many customers. It is not making money. If the public begins to see it as a petty company the chances that it will make it more than a year more are small.