MoviePass issues a statement explaining why it blocked people from reserving tickets for Mission: Impossible - Fallout this past weekend. The subscription service has hit some rough times recently. As their business model continues to evolve, they've introduced a number of controversial new features, such as "high demand pricing" for certain showtimes of select titles. Around the time Avengers: Infinity War premiered, MoviePass took away the option to see a film in theaters more than once. These decisions upset many, and things have only gotten worse from there.
A few days ago, MoviePass experienced an outage when it literally ran out of money. On top of that, audiences were angered upon learning Mission: Impossible - Fallout, the acclaimed action movie that was the weekend's biggest release, was blacked out on the app - meaning users could not book tickets during its opening weekend. Understandably, MoviePass has come under heavy fire, and now it's attempting to explain everything.
In an official statement on the MoviePass website, CEO Mitch Lowe apologized for the temporary outage last week and further explained the service's reasoning for blocking some titles. While this was issued before the Fallout blackout went viral, it still provides insight into why MoviePass did it:
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. For example, you can’t ever find Game of Thrones on Netflix, nor is Season 4 of Schitt’s Creek available there yet. Here at MoviePass, we have strived to make every movie in theaters available to you as part of your subscription, and Peak Pricing has allowed – and will continue to allow – us to do so.
Lowe's comments arguably make MoviePass look worse than before. His comparison to Netflix is entirely off-base. Simply put, MoviePass is not an in-home streaming service; the whole concept behind the company was to give viewers the option to see whatever movie they wanted in theaters for one low cost per month. It's reasonable, then, to expect every movie currently playing at the multiplex to be available via MoviePass. Also, in terms of evolution, users would be more interested in a "bring a friend" option, or the ability to book premium format (IMAX and 3D) tickets. Few would consider blocking certain movies a step forward. Since MoviePass reservations can't be made in advance, there's a good chance most viewers didn't know about the Fallout situation until they were already at the theater.
MoviePass undeniably had a good run, even helping Oscar-contending films earn more at the box office. However, it looks like the service is on its last legs. People have become unhappy with it in the past couple of months, and now there are more options to choose from. Not only does Sinemia offer various subscription plans, AMC just launched the Stubs A-List, which provides subscribers with numerous perks not available via MoviePass. It wouldn't be surprising if more viewers looked to switch, trying to find something more convenient that works for their needs.
- Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018) release date: Jul 27, 2018