It was exactly one year ago when MoviePass—which initially started as an expensive, invite-only service for film insiders—opened itself to the public and introduced a splashy new promise: See a movie a day, for just $10 per month. You could watch a new film every day or the same movie over and over again. At the time, it seemed too good to be true. And over the past few months, it's become painfully clear that it was.
As the company flounders, burning through a reported $73 million a month, they've been aggressively attempting to curtail operating costs by messing with their subscription plans. Price hikes and peak pricing were announced and then quickly walked back, big name blockbuster movies have been blacked out for opening weekends and then the number of movies a member can see each month has been cut down to three. According to the company's internal data, most members only see about three movies per month.
We think this new plan might work if they weren't limiting the types of movies we're able to see. Part of the appeal of MoviePass, of course, was the freedom it provided. You could take a chance on a movie you otherwise wouldn't have seen in the theaters. It brought people back into the immersive experience of sitting in the dark, untethered to our devices and fully concentrating on a film. We liked that. But this new program MoviePass is attempting just isn't as fun or as freeing as it once was. That doesn't mean it won't work for some. Or that there isn't a movie subscription service that can replace it. Thankfully, similar programs have cropped up over the past year that offer a combination of cost savings and convenience. Here's what each one is currently offering and who they're for.
Early-adopting loyalists and those who are already a member and don't want to bother canceling. Or those who don't see a lot of superhero and action franchises.
What you Get
You can see three movies a month, from a list of supported films. Big blockbusters and action franchises are prohibited, at least initially. You can buy additional tickets with discounts of up to $5. But keep in mind, the conditions have been changing a lot lately, so these terms could change too.
$9.95 a month, at MoviePass
Those who live near an AMC theater and want to see a lot of movies. Especially wide-release blockbusters, 3-D or IMAX.
What you Get
The most movies, with the fewest limitations but also the highest price. See up to three movies a week, including 3-D and IMAX films. You can even go to repeat viewings or two movies in one day, so long as there's a two-hour buffer between them. You can also make online reservations and hold up to three reservations at any time. Because this is part of their Stubs loyalty program, you also accumulate discounts and upgrades on concessions as well.
$19.95 a month, at AMC
People who want choices in their subscription plans. And those who'd benefit from family plans.
What you Get
Sinemia offers several straightforward plans. For about four bucks, you can see one standard movie a month. Seven dollars gets you two tickets per month. For nine, you can see two movies, including 3-D and IMAX formats. Like MoviePass, you can use it at pretty much at any theater, but unlike MoviePass (thankfully) it has no showtime blackouts. Sinemia is also testing partnerships with Restaurant.com and ride-sharing services for a more wholistic approach to date nights.
From $3.99 a month, at Sinemia
Those who live near a Cinemark theater and can't see a movie without snacks.
What you Get
For a little less than the average price of a ticket, you can see one 2-D movie a month. But you can also buy companion tickets for $8.99 and get 20% off concessions for you and a friend (which is very enticing). But best of all, if you don't use your ticket for the month, your credit rolls over to the next month—and those unused credits don't expire.
$8.99 a month, at Cinemark