July has been quite a hot month, especially for movies; and especially for MoviePass. But while this means good news for families on vacation and for movie studios (and all cast and crew), the heat on MoviePass is not something the company was prepared to handle. That’s because the already struggling digital, all-you-can-watch movie ticket monthly subscription service actually ran out of money and had to shut down for at least one night last week. To compensate for this, the tech company shut users out of ticket options for the popular movie Mission: Impossible—Fallout.
The company claims that tech difficulties are the reason for the roadblock but some critics argue that this effect is actually a strategy to limit how much money users can spend on movie tickets. In a statement, the company confided: “We have handled the issues on the back-end, and our app is now up-and-running with stability at 100%. We thank our members and our community for their patience and ongoing support, and we appreciate their commitment to our vision as we revolutionize the movie industry.”
As you might expect, MoviePass stock plummeted dramatically, which has forced MoviePass to announce a handful of changes aiming to “compress its timeline to reach profitability.” And with that, the company has announced a plan to increase its monthly subscription fee to $14.95, which is set to begin next month. Along with this, first-run tickets will only be available in a limited quantity during the first two weeks on their respective screens (unless MoviePass has a promotional agreement with the distributor of the film).
In an open letter published to the MoviePass website, MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe explains, “As we continue to evolve the service, certain movies may not always be available in every theater on our platform. This is no different than other in-home streaming options that often don’t carry the latest shows or movies that may be available on other services.”
Lowe goes on to say, “These changes are meant to protect the longevity of our company and prevent abuse of the service. While no one likes change, these are essential steps to continue providing the most attractive subscription service in the industry.”