One gets the distinct impression that nothing is ever permanent with MoviePass — including, of course, MoviePass itself. The troubled film subscription service has been through a number of different rule changes in recent months, as it’s worked to stem the financial bleeding.
In an email, CEO Mitch Lowe outlined the latest updates to the once-unlimited subscription plan. Most notable among the changes is the limiting of selection to “up to six films to choose from daily, including a selection of major studio first-run films and independent releases.”
On top of that, there may be further limitations on showtime availability for the selected titles, based on “the popularity of those films on the app that particular day.” The company has already begun limiting access to specific films, starting with a barring of major blockbusters and moving toward limiting selection generally.
If nothing else, at this plan spells out something more concrete that what’s appeared from the outside to be somewhat arbitrary choice in recent weeks. Now users can go to the “This Week’s Movies” page to see what’s available. Right now, there’s a semi-consistent, rotating selection. For example, you can get into BlacKkKlansman and The Meg today, but not tomorrow (weekend box office, you know).
Which movies are chosen and when will likely be at least partially dependent on deals struck between MoviePass and studios/distributors. And, of course, “up to six films” leaves the door open for a lot of wiggle room on selection here. It will also likely severely limit the ability to go see films in repertory movie houses, not to mention those in areas outside of big cities, where selection is far more limited.
This latest change comes as the company marks the one-year anniversary of the $9.95 plan that helped get the company into this financial and customer service mess. Based on the current ratio of responses to a tweet celebrating the milestone, it seems safe to say the company’s got a lot of work to do if it hopes to win back one-time loyal users.