The average price of a cinema ticket in 2018 is $9.18. When you take into account all the upcoming movies you’re planning to see, and multiply that by the cost of a single ticket? Things soon start to add up. And that’s not even counting concessions.
What do you do? Is there a way to score cheaper movie tickets?
How does MoviePass work?
MoviePass promises to fulfill all of your movie-going problems via one simple solution. You pay a fixed fee per month for a subscription which allows you to see one movie a day in theaters. It’s genius.
What’s more genius is how much it costs.
In August 2017, the company announced plans to decrease its prices from the $30-$50 mark to something altogether more affordable.
$9.95 a month.
Sounds too good to be true, right?
What’s even more bananas is that since then a new pricing bracket has opened up. For $6.95 a month you get the same deal – one film a day – if you pay the entire annual fee up front.
This is the sort of pricing structure that evokes a two-step reaction:
- “OHMYGODOHMYGOD all the movies I can watch in a month for less than the price of a single normal ticket. Gaaaaaah!” *incomprehensible babble*
Followed quickly by:
- “Hang on a second! There’s got to be a catch, right?”
How can MoviePass manage to let its 2 million subscribers see one film a day for a whole month for only $10?
There is no catch.
MoviePass pays the movie theater the full price for the ticket and takes on those costs. It seems implausible, especially as there is a lot of chatter bouncing around the web concerning how exactly this business model can be maintained in the long run. I mean, if they’re not making money, how can this last?
The good news is: MoviePass is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, they’ve been delving into new territory and buying distribution rights to movies! Not only that, MoviePass is also increasing visibility of smaller movies.
In December, Deadline reported that MoviePass had bumped up audience numbers for smaller, indie flicks such as Three Billboards, Lady Bird, and I, Tonya. Typically, moviegoers might wait for “awards” movies to hit streaming, but with MoviePass they’re venturing out to see them on the big screen.
Okay, so now that you’re sold, here’s how you can sign up.
Here’s how MoviePass works
It’s simple. Let’s go through the 4 simple steps it takes to watch a movie.
First off, there are two aspects to the service:
- MoviePass app
- MoviePass card
You use the app to select a film and a physical card to pay for the ticket at the box office.
1. Sign up for MoviePass
Head over to the website and sign up. Once you’ve done that, your card will be on its way in the mail.
2. Select a movie
Once your card arrives, install the MoviePass app on your phone.
Log in using your sign up details. The home screen displays movies showing in participating theaters close to your current location. Here’s what it looks like for me:
You can change that to a specific zip code if you like. This is handy if you’re planning to see a film outside of your normal stomping ground, and want to make sure those theaters accept MoviePass.
From here you can either select a movie to see where it is currently showing:
OR you can select the theaters icon and choose a cinema you’d like to visit. This will bring up a list of movies currently showing at that location.
(Note: my local theater isn’t just showing two movies, you can scroll down the app to see more.)
What’s the difference?
Well, if you want to just browse the films showing at your nearest cinema the theater option is fine. If you’re desperate to see a specific film, the movies tab would be your best bet as this shows the nearest theater to you showing that exact title.
Now choose your movie!
In this case, I’m going for Game Night.
You can only select from films showing that day (so you can’t look up showtimes days in advance) and 3D films are not included.
3. Go to the theater
Once you’re within 100 feet of the cinema, select the showtime. This takes you to the check-in screen. Click “check-in” and the app will charge your MoviePass debit card with the cost of the ticket.
You will know if it’s worked when the screen says you are checked-in and you can use your MoviePass card to purchase your ticket. The latest update to the app also states that from the moment you check in, you have 30 minutes to purchase your ticket.
What’s the deal with the 100 yards thing? It’s to make sure only the subscriber is using the card.
4. Pay for your ticket and enjoy the movie!
All you do now is pay for your ticket using your MoviePass debit card. You can either use self-service kiosks at the cinema or have a member of staff run your card. Each movie you see is immediately added to your watching history which serves as a handy diary.
Start seeing more movies now
Trying to see as many movies on the big screen as possible is no easy feat nowadays.
There are too many things vying for your hard-earned cash. Things like rent and sandwiches. After reading through this guide, you should now be signed up to MoviePass and ready to watch an inordinate amount of films.
Red Chairs image designed by Freepik, Popcorn image designed by Freepik, Clapperboard photo designed by Freepik, Tickets among cinema stuff designed by Freepik.Marquee image courtesy Hey Paul under CC-BY-2.0.
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