MoviePass: Too Good to Be True?
Bob and I (clearly) see a lot of movies. The funny thing is that we rarely agree on a movie that we want to see, which makes staying in and watching a movie difficult. Usually we spend at least half an hour going through Netflix, Amazon, DVDs, the Internet; perusing websites; making suggestions; etc. to find a movie that we both agree on, or, more often, that I want to watch…thanks Bob! :D. At the movies, though, there is no temptation to get up and get a glass of water, to check the phone, to stir that chili that’s in the slow cooker. You just sit and watch. Which is why I think we can agree on movies to see in theaters far more often than on movies we see at home; it’s harder to get bored, even if it’s a movie that you don’t necessarily like.
So when we saw MoviePass (http://moviepass.com/), it seemed perfect. We have spent so much money on movies it’s insane. In 2014 I saw at least 15 movies in theaters—say they came in at $10 each, that’s $150 in movie tickets alone for the last year. Not to mention that number is probably higher because AMC has ridiculously high prices and I always get popcorn. MoviePass seems like a great solution for people who go to the movies a lot: you pay $35 ($30 in other areas) per month to see as many movies as you want. That works out to $420 a year, which is a lot of money, but if you’re going to the movies frequently, it might not actually be that much more than you’re spending now.
We have a 2-week free trial of MoviePass (you can get one on the website, you just need to cancel before the 14 days are up), so we are running over to AMC as often as we can these next couple of weeks to use the card. Here are some pros and cons to the program….
-You can see as many movies as you want!
-It works at most theaters—for example, MoviePass works at the AMC in downtown Boston but also at the Somerville Theater in Davis Square
- If you use it at AMC, for example, you can still get points on your Stubs rewards card
-You can’t actually see as many movies as you want, though….You can only see one a day (okay, that’s fine, who sees more than one movie a day anyway?) and you can only see each movie once. The latter is what makes me apprehensive. There have been numerous times that I’ve seen a movie in theaters with one group of people and then a week later, another group of friends wants to see the same movie. I don’t mind re-watching movies (especially if they’re good), so I would go see it again. It seems a bit annoying that you’re paying for “unlimited” movies but they sort of dictate which movies you can actually watch
-It doesn’t work at all theaters—the Landmark in Kendall Square, for example, does not take MoviePass. It’s easy to check before you go, though
-It’s expensive. You’d have to average about three movies a month in order to break even, which is a lot of movies and a lot of time at the movies, even for me. And you can’t cancel without fees, so you’re essentially locked in for the full year, even in the barren-movies-months like February and March.
-You need the MoviePass app and have to check in when you are at the theater, so if your phone is dead, you're out of luck
-You have to email to cancel instead of doing it online. I didn’t even think to check about this before I got the free trial, because most places let you just cancel via your login
Overall, I think MoviePass is an interesting concept but perhaps just a bit too overpriced for what it is. Maybe if they let you re-watch movies…or if you got a certain number of free or advance screenings per year…or you could enroll for only a few months…it would be worth it. But as it is set up now, I think most people would be better off just going to the movies without the card (and always getting popcorn!).