MoviePass is going to start playing favorites. The company just announced a partnership to offer a set of exclusive perks through Landmark Theatres, the indie theater chain co-owned by Mark Cuban. The app’s two million users will now be able to take advantage of these features at Landmark’s 255 screens in 53 theaters.
The partnership is a pretty big deal for MoviePass subscribers, who up to this point have been encouraged to view local movie theaters as a kind of brand-agnostic all-you-can-eat buffet. The deal will allow movie-goers to use the app for e-ticketing, seat selection and to make reservations for advanced screenings — all sorely missing features in the remarkable if at times glitchy MoviePass user experience.
“There is no better place to watch a movie than Landmark and now MoviePass customers will be able to enjoy all of our theaters,” Cuban said of the deal.
New perks considered, we’re inclined to agree. As a MoviePass user myself, I can say the service is a ridiculously good deal — at least until the company runs out of cash and has to start making some. The one catch is that the experience can be a little stressful. I love seeing movies, but I’m the kind of person who normally would buy tickets in advance for a showing a few hours away. Unfortunately, MoviePass requires that users show up to the theater to buy tickets IRL before a showing, and sometimes getting there super early isn’t an option. Still, it’s a small price to pay for the service’s heavily subsidized small price to pay.
Getting to the front of the ticketing line and being that jerk juggling your MoviePass card while fighting with the at times buggy check-in process detracts a bit from the otherwise seamless experience of seeing all the damn movies you want. Landmark’s new features could assuage those anxieties, particularly if they help subscribers plan a little further ahead. I know it’s enough to nudge me toward my city’s three Landmark-owned theaters, and I suspect other MoviePass users will feel the same way.
Other theater chains will likely keep a close eye on that kind of behavior as those companies decide how cozy to get with the disruptive movie subscription service that’s keen on driving potential movie-goers back to the popcorn lines.