Posted by William Charles on May 16, 2018

Published on May 16th, 2018 | by William Charles


MoviePass To Add Premium Screening, Family Plan & More

During MoviePass‘ parent companies quarterly (Helios and Matheson Analytics) report they announced they would be adding a few new features to the popular cinema subscription service.

  • Ability to attend premium screens (e.g 3D, IMAX) for a one time fee per screening. Rather than this increasing the cost of your monthly plan you’d instead just pay a surcharge when attending one of these showings.
  • Addition of a family plan. Currently everybody attending a screening via MoviePass needs their own phone, this makes it impossible for most families to see a movie together all using MoviePass (unless young children have a phone of their own).

CEO of Helios & Matheson also stated that they would be making a large acquisition sometimes during Cannes. He also said that MoviePass had access to a $300 million line of credit and at the current burn rate this gives them 17 more months without having to raise any additional capital (previously news outlets were reporting they had only $15.5 million in cash on hand and another $27.90 million on deposit with a burn rate of $22 million monthly). It’s important to note that a recent SEC filing does not show this line of credit as Business Insider points out.

The ability to see a premium screening is a feature that competitor Sinemia has offered since launch. When comparing the plans Sinemia offer they basically charge an additional $3 per month to see one premium screening so it will be interesting to see how much the MoviePass surcharge is for premium screenings. Sinemia also offers a Sinemia for two plan that isn’t quite a family plan but at least lets two people see the same screening and only requiring one phone. I personally don’t see how either service will survive long term. It seems that there two main attempts at profitability are to try and receive a percentage of concession purchases (something cinemas are unlikely to want to concede) and the selling of data they collect.

Hat tip to MtM

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I read an article somewhere(sorry no link) that at least with AMC the concession sales sharing fell through. Instead they purchase movie tickets at a discount. That’s not really a money maker but it helps.

A coworker recently did a referral for me so I’ll soon get to give this service a try. Hopefully they’re not out of business before my free 30 day period. If they really can keep it going for a bit, I’ll be curious to see how they do the family plan. That might be the secret sauce if priced right.

Eh…they still didn’t add a feature that some of us are looking for – ability to purchase tickets in advance.

Here is the HMNY report:

“Legal Proceeding: On February 23, 2018, MoviePass filed a patent infringement complaint against Sinemia, United States District Court, Central District of California. MoviePass’s complaint asserts infringement of two U.S. patents, U.S. Patent Nos. 8,484,133 (“Secure targeted personal buying/selling method and system”) and 8,612,325 (“Automatic authentication and funding method”) by Sinemia’s movie-ticket subscription service. MoviePass’s complaint requests damages and an injunction. As of the date of this report, Sinemia has not yet responded to the complaint due to an extension granted by MoviePass.”

Software Patents are dumb.


You don’t each need your own phone. I take a friend and we both use my phone. Just quickly log in and out of your separate Movie Pass accounts. No big deal.

They implemented something recently for me where I can only have one primary device and that can only be changed once every 30 days.

Yes, I ran into this after signing into my wife’s phone then back onto mine. But does the new version actually give you any problems using two user names back and forth on the same device?

Note: Wife was asked to submit a picture of her ticket stub for next movie, but I believe that could have been related to her seeing Black Panther twice last month? –They weren’t enforcing that rule yet, but clearly they didn’t like the idea of people seeing the same movie more than once.


As of last week, no problems at all. But I guess I have a heads up now that it might not work this week ;-).

Didnt work for me. It’s YMMV I think.

Hopefully they can stay afloat for awhile. Interesting strategy to bring back the free trial after getting so much bad press. I’m curious what they should be able to bring in from advertising and data analytics as the membership base grows more. I considered buying some stock for fun (knowing the likelihood that I would lose it all.)

I just wish they weren’t so dead set on the true unlimited. I would still keep the service if the limit was 6, perhaps even 3-4 per month. If they actively went after people reselling tickets they could possibly decrease expenses and make some more revenue. (note they have a clause in the agreement that you have to pay a fine if you use tickets in a way that violates the terms. FYI: When something is too good to be true, you should read the terms closely.)

Movie Pass unfortunately doesn’t work for me at my regional theater (Harkins), so unless that changes, I don’t think I can sign up, even if they did fix the two biggest issues: premium screens and advance reservations (the latter they made no mention about).
Sinemia on the other hand does all three: Harkins, premium, and advance reservations. All that being said, we’ve only seen 3 movies in theaters this year so far, so we’d be losing money on any sub. Decisions, Decisions.

I’m just letting you guys know that I ordered from Sinemia and they have never sent my passes. Getting customer service with them in impossible. I had to dispute the charge through the credit card company.

When we tried to register to see our first movie, we got an error message saying our debit card didn’t work and they’d have to send a new one. We’ve sent multiple enquiries about it with no response.

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