MoviePass has changed its terms to no longer allow users to see movies through its service more than once. The popular ticketing app has evolved many times since its inception in 2011, starting out as a service based on vouchers then prepaid cards. It soon changed to a tiered subscription service before settling on a simple $9.95 monthly charge, or $6.95 per month if you pay for a full year up front. The monthly subscription has long been attractive to frequent moviegoers for the ability to grab one free movie ticket per day.
Until recently, MoviePass had no restrictions on repeat viewings for users who like certain movies enough to check out their favorite new flicks over and over once they hit theaters. So if you're one of MoviePass' 2.5 million users and just reaped the benefits of multiple Black Panther viewings for the tidy cost of the monthly subscription, April was your last chance to take advantage of that benefit. Just in time for record-breaking megahit Avengers: Infinity War, MoviePass has changed its terms yet again - and it won't make fans of repeated viewings happy.
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As THR first reported on Friday, MoviePass has updated its terms of service to prohibit users from seeing any movie through the app more than once. MoviePass also noted this change in its support center, telling a user that they hope the change "will encourage you to see new movies and enjoy something different!" The update comes soon after the app began offering a bundled subscription of MoviePass and iHeart Radio's premium "All Access" service for the same $9.95 price, but for only four movie tickets per month. The movie-per-day deal may never come back.
MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe told THR that MoviePass is working on "like 100 new features" in addition to the dropping prices and policy changes, so the modified subscription is probably far from the only update coming soon. He also said that "anyone with an issue should call customer service," in reference to the users who paid for a yearly subscription before having the rug pulled out from under them in terms of the app's offerings. But Lowe also explained that the no-repeats rule is actually a return to a previous policy. It's also aimed at curbing fraudulent activity like people "selling" their MoviePass tickets outside theaters, the app's own unique version of scalping.
The benefits of using MoviePass continue to slowly erode for users who once enjoyed the ability to see a movie every day, and pick from whatever movie they wanted. Their reasons for the change are understandable, but it's also ostensibly a preemptive strike against those who were inevitably going to see Infinity War for the second or 10th time as it sets new standards at the box office. Ultimately, it's a byproduct of the ongoing battles between the app and movie theater chains, with both sides having their own reasons to demand changes.
Even with the latest updates to MoviePass, one new movie a week is still a good deal for $9.95 a month at most. But it will also be hard for longtime users not to yearn for the freer days of using one of the movie theater industry's most disruptive services. In the short term, it bodes well for theater chains who will undoubtedly reap the rewards of Infinity War for several weeks as MoviePass users go from unlimited viewings to one-and-done visits. It'll be interesting to see if the change actually leads to users seeing more movies that they otherwise wouldn't have checked out.