MoviePass competitor Sinemia has introduced a new subscription model for its customers. Originally a success in the U.K., Canada, Turkey, and Australia, but only in California in the U.S., Sinemia expanded across America for the first time in February, with the promise of little-to-no restrictions for its subscribers. The company's newest subscription model comes amid changes also happening at MoviePass, including modified pricing and subscription policies, and it comes just as the summer movie season kicks off with the unprecedented success of Avengers: Infinity War.
Some negative reactions came to MoviePass' changes, which have eroded the features that once made the app too good to be true. It still is, in a way, since it offers lower prices for movie tickets while the company pays full price. But it now has legitimate competition in the U.S. in the form of Sinemia, and the latter company's new subscription model could be an attractive one for moviegoers looking for more flexibility in their choices.
As reported by Variety on Friday, Sinemia is now offering a four-tiered annual subscription service. The hook is that users can see any movie at any theater, with no restrictions in terms of titles or locations. The tiered pricing is based on the number of movies you can see per month and the formats you can see them in at the theater. For $4.99 a month on average, you can see any one movie per month at any theater; for $6.99, you can see any two movies per month. For $9.99 per month, the two-movie plan expands to 3D, 4D, and IMAX formats. And for $14.99 per month, you can see any three movies, also in any format. What also sets Sinemia apart from MoviePass is that it offers seat selection and advanced purchases, which could be an attractive option for moviegoers looking to snag tickets to high-demand blockbusters as soon as they go on sale.
Having to lock into an annual subscription may not be as appealing to subscribers, especially as those who did the same for MoviePass may feel they've had the rug pulled out from under them after the company removed repeat viewings and has changed its pricing on the fly after briefly dropping, which helped give it a boost. MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe said his company is considering a number of other changes as well. So users may feel more enticed to give Sinemia a shot if they're at least promised some consistency and flexibility with their subscriptions. The idea that users can see any movie they want, anywhere they want, should be a feature that makes Sinemia a strong competitor to MoviePass.
Ultimately, perhaps some competition will be good for MoviePass, which still boasts over 2 million subscribers. Lowe could refocus the company's efforts and offer something more consistent that still appeals to moviegoers that fell in love with its model in the first place. And even if it can't quite measure up to what Sinemia is offering, MoviePass is also exploring movie distribution ventures as well. It will be interesting to see how Sinemia fares on a national scale, as well as how long it takes before MoviePass reacts with any big changes of its own.