MoviePass Is Back—Sort Of

Published on March 19, 2019

After a rough couple of years, MoviePass is still desperate to earn your money. The subscription app plans to announce a new subscription service that brings the service back to what it was originally, with just a couple of limitations. The new model will allow customers to watch one movie per day for a drastically low price of $9.95/month.

This was the same model that caused the company a lot of trouble in 2018, which is why there will be a couple of limitations that there weren’t before.

A Rough Start

MoviePass has had a hard time its beginning in 2011. The movie subscription service went through a lot of changes before really taking off in 2017, when the service became an overnight sensation in the US. The app allowed users to subscribe to a service for just $9.95/month. There were no limitations as to how long you had to be a member for.

Users would then get a MoviePass debit card in the mail which could be used to purchase movie tickets. The company would let you see one movie per day with the service, and there were no limitations to how many times you could see one movie during its run in theaters. Many users took advantage of this—some even opted for a second MoviePass account to pay for snacks at the theater—and MoviePass quickly saw itself racking up millions of dollars in debt.

Life, for MoviePass, between 2017 and 2019 was rough. The company went through a lot of changes in its business model in an effort to stay afloat. With millions of dollars owed to its fulfillment centers, the company had a hard time finding how it would stay in business much longer than a few weeks. The fulfillment centers stopped sending the company money, and users suddenly knew that the end had come.

Desperate To Stay In Business

Changes to the company’s business model began rolling out just days later. The new model would limit users to only a couple of movies per month, and users would have to photograph their tickets in order to prove that they had used their cards for what they claimed they would use them for. The app began limiting which movies it had access to, and users would have to plan ahead to see a specific movie.

Only a couple of movies were available per day, and they often included smaller releases or films that had been in circulation for weeks already. Now that the company’s business model wasn’t so simple, its user base jumped ship. The company knew it would have to change in order to maintain its now massive user base.

MoviePass started hinting at a new business model that would bring its subscription back to a closer version of what it originally was back in November. The company teased a new tiered program that would bump the price up to $15 and $20, depending on what users were looking for in a subscription.

The first subscription would allow users to choose any three movies per month, at any time, in any MoviePass theater. The second was the same, but would allow users access to IMAX and 3D movies, which was something never before offered on the app. It was still a step down from one movie per day, but it eliminated the need to plan around MoviePass’s schedule of films throughout the week.


The new MoviePass subscription, which is set to roll out at an unannounced date in the near future, will be the closest return to the company’s roots since its unbelievable deal in 2017. Users will be able to purchase the MoviePass Uncapped subscription for a limited time at just $9.95. The subscription will allow users to see one movie per day, unless they decide they don’t want you to watch something.

Seriously, that’s it. The company may halt you from being able to see something from time to time, The terms of use claim that the app will be able to stop you from seeing a movie based on a bunch of reasons that basically mean they don’t need to give you a reason, the answer is just “no.”

The $9.95 MoviePass Uncapped subscription will be available for a limited time, and users will have to commit to a full year. If you would like to opt-in, but stay on a month-to-month billing plan, that will cost $14.95 for a limited time. Once the special pricing period is over (though the company does not say when that is), MoviePass Uncapped will be $19.95 for the same subscription.


Julia Sachs is a former Managing Editor at Grit Daily. She covers technology, social media and disinformation. She is based in Utah and before the pandemic she liked to travel.

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