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MoviePass members unhappy with new peak pricing

Popular, peak time showings will now cost more
Posted: 11:21 AM, Jul 19, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-19 19:37:54Z

Is MoviePass too good to be true with unlimited movies for just $9.95 a month?

It's starting to look that way for some members with the arrival of surge or peak pricing.

Megan Hazi and Zac Sloan are MoviePass members. 

They've seen dozens of movies this year at the Oakley Cinemark theater with the pass that promises "any movie, any theater, any day, for only $9.95 per month."

"It's excellent, I love it," Hazi said. "We come to the movies a lot anyway, so it pays for itself."

But their great deal is about to change.    

Why you may soon pay more

The service has just announced it's adding peak time surcharges -- just like Uber -- at busy times.

Lighting bolts next to the showing time on the app indicate showings  that will cost an extra $2 to $6  per movie, like a hot new release on a Friday night at 8 p.m.

Sloan said he is not looking forward to paying more for popular movies.

"I don't like it because I like the deal they have, 10 bucks a month for a movie a day," he said. "I wouldn't be a big fan of surge pricing."

Even MoviePass admits that it really doesn't make money at $9.95 a month, if a customer sees more than one move (some have said they see as many as 25 in a month).

The competition charges more or offers less.

Cinemark's subscription service is $8.99 a month for just one movie. That's right, you get just one showing. At least you get 20% off your snacks, so it is essentially a discount club.

AMC's subscription service for $19 a month allows you 3 movies per week.

MoviePass is by far the best deal for consumers, but not a good deal for the company, which is why it is adding surcharges for popular showings.

How can you avoid paying more?  

To avoid the new surcharge, don't go to peak-time movies. Megan Hazi and Zac Sloan say they'll try to stick with matinees to avoid the new fee.

"It's not really going to impact my use of it," Hazi said. "But I can see how people would have an issue with that."

But letting people see a dozen or more first run movies in a month for just $9.95 appears to be a difficult business model to sustain.

As always, don't waste your money.

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