MoviePass has now gone back to offering its original monthly plan of unlimited movies per month, in the form of one 2D screening per day. MoviePass was decidedly a niche service for the first few years of its existence, thanks to its precipitously high price tag. That all changed in summer 2017, when MoviePass made the surprise move of dropping its monthly rate to a Netflix-esque $9.95. Considering the price of the average movie ticket, this naturally drew tons of interest, with the service adding subscribers by the thousands since.
Of course, this surge in popularity for MoviePass hasn't been without its controversies. For one, theater chains haven't exactly been supportive of what they see as a flawed business model, especially AMC, which tried its best to ban MoviePass from their theaters. New subscribers have also had issues receiving the service's debit card that allows the purchase of tickets, with many complaining of weeks-long waits, while the monthly subscription charges had already been withdrawn from their accounts.
At the end of the day though, MoviePass' biggest draw - one that could potentially make wait times and other hassles worth it - is the sheer coolness of being able to see one movie every day of the year if one so chooses, for less than the price of one delivery pizza per month. That's why MoviePass raised many eyebrows recently when they removed their standard plan for new subscribers, instead offering a bundled plan with iHeartRadio streaming access that cost $29.95 for three months, and only allowed users to see four movies per month. While statements by MoviePass' CEO suggested this might be the beginning of the end for the old plan, Variety now reports that the status quo of one 2D movie per day for $9.95 a month has quietly returned.
MoviePass' aforementioned head honcho Mitch Lowe now says that "we never planned to abandon the flagship product that everybody loves," but that's sure not what he was saying last week, when he clearly implied that not going back to the unlimited plan after the iHeartRadio combo promotion ended was a real possibility. While it now seems that Lowe was simply trying to spur signups to the promotional plan by being intentionally cagey, recent reports that the company continues to hemorrhage money due to its low price point are unlikely to give users much reason to believe that the $9.95 unlimited plan won't one day disappear again.
While it's nice to once again have the option to signup for MoviePass' traditional monthly plan, the service still isn't without other current controversies. Following the release of Avengers: Infinity War, MoviePass abruptly changed its policies to not allow subscribers to use their pass to see the same movie more than once. This provision was actually in the company's terms of service since the beginning, but hadn't been actively enforced until now. Naturally, this hasn't sat well with Marvel fans who feel like they're being screwed by not being able to go see Infinity War as much as they want, for no additional cost. Only time will tell if the widespread backlash eventually leads MoviePass to change its mind on enforcing that rule going forward.