From the desk of Agent Winchester…
MoviePass is currently a $9.95 per month movie ticket subscription service started by the co-founder of Netflix. Even though I consider myself a gadget guy, I am not the guy who will pay hundreds of dollars for the first-of-a-kind product like when CD players, Blu-ray players, or the Roomba debuted.
Even though I love Apple, I have never bought a first-generation Apple product. I tend to avoid new products unless they have amazing ratings from customers I know well or I have seen them in operation. Partially, I avoid these purchases because buying them is essentially gambling. With products, I would rather let the first-generation product pass and consider the next release to avoid wasting money on something that does not work.
I find subscriptions much easier to pay for. After paying years of monthly DirecTV bills costing over $100 per month, so my preschooler could watch her shows on our DVR, I was desperate to try something cheaper. I subscribed to SlingTV before Danny Trejo was their pitchman, and I installed an outdoor HDTV antenna. If they had one channel I coveted, Spike, I would not have changed services to DirecTV Now. DirecTV Now had an introductory offer of a free 4th-generation Apple TV if you prepaid for a three-month subscription at $35 per month. I needed a new Apple TV anyways, so I tried it. I love it. I’m locked in at $35 until I cancel, and the price point is comfortable for me because I do not watch more than an hour or two of television per week. I’m a movie guy.
So, I felt comfortable enough with the MoviePass ratings I read to subscribe about five weeks ago. Once you sign up, you must wait two to three weeks for a MoviePass MasterCard to come by US Mail. My card arrived somewhere in the middle of that range. Once I activated the card, the first $9.95 payment was debited. I was so excited to finally go to the theater and use the card.
I am happy to say that I had an easy time using my MoviePass. I drove to within 100 yards of the theater I chose, which is required, and requested the film and show time on my MoviePass iPhone app. I received a fast approval, headed to the box office, picked a seat, and had a ticket in my hand in less than two minutes. I watched Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan in The Foreigner the first week, Thor: Ragnarok the second week, and reserved my third ticket to Murder on the Orient Express. To date, I have used approximately $27.30 worth of tickets so far from my first $9.95 subscription payment. I wish I had similar success in the stock market.
You will receive a new Terms and Condition e-mail with all the rules and updates to MoviePass’ information. It is mostly a list of how not to cheat the company, but there is some useful information, as well. My first inclination was to watch movies with abandon multiple times per week. I backed off that idea because it appears they have the power to recommend a subscription tier that will match how many visits I made while abusing the subscription.
Also, there was a warning that MoviePass will not allow you back as a subscriber for nine months if you choose to cancel your plan. Most of the rest of the e-mail was the usual points companies have to write to cover their behinds in an effort to thwart future customer complaints and refund requests.
Personally, I love the plan. It is easy to pre-approve and purchase a ticket. If my three experiences are any indication, I will continue to use the service if the price jumps to as high as $25 per month. When my schedule allows, I go to the movies every week. I will continue to save money most months. It’s be worth the gamble.
Agent Winchester (@AgentWinchestr) is a movie and TV geek, husband, father, and former movie theater and video store employee. I want to be Hollywood’s Vice President of common sense and bridge what projects we want as fans to help them make even larger gobs of money.