The other day I posted about a new program called MoviePass, which would allow you to pay monthly for unlimited movies at your local theater. The way it worked was simple; you would get tickets via MovieTickets.com or Fandango.com using your pass and you would be given a generated code to punch in at a ticket kiosk or box office, which would result in a movie ticket!
This all sounded fascinating, but the limitations like only seeing a movie once per day and once per title really killed it. The price was decent and was hopefully going to get adjusted for ticket sales in different regions, but that all doesn’t matter now.
According to Variety, MoviePass is already DOA. The company was planning for a test run in the San Francisco Bay Area, but that has been called off. Why you ask, well apparently the company never even contacted some big theater chains, like Landmark and AMC. Both of those companies stated that they would not be participating in this event and that they never were once contacted to negotiate something.
I was really hoping this was going to take off and spread to the MN area, but those hopes have been crushed, mainly due to the poor communication between companies and because big theater chains don’t want to offer such deals. They listed excuses like, “it wouldn’t work well with our current programs”, but that’s bullshit. Mega theater chains like AMC don’t want to give us deals on seeing movies; they want to charge us the most money for a ticket and even more money for concessions. I guess we were the dumb ones thinking that something like this was ever going to fly.
The funny thing is that of all the chains participating in the MoviePass test event (21 chains), only one chain said they would have actually honored the codes and that was Landmark. Every other chain said they would have politely turned the customer down, but Landmark was the bigger “man” and claimed they would have honored already-purchased redemption codes. Landmark is the leader in independent cinemas and I’m glad that they would have supported this business venture for its trial run. It’s good to see that they still stick by the customers. I’ve always enjoyed the Landmark Theatres in MN, both the Uptown and Lagoon locations. Both theaters have great ticket prices, great concessions, very nice theaters and more importantly, GOOD MOVIES!
You’re never going to see an AMC theater playing Hobo with a Shotgun or 13 Assassins, if I recall correctly, last time they did a special screening for Adam Green‘s Hatchet II, it got pulled within a few days! Even Frozen only lasted a week in most theaters.
Hopefully someday something like MoviePass could work. If all the theater chains figure out a basic package with some company I really think they could find a way to both make a profit and give us a good deal. That day probably won’t come until theater sales start declining more, which is sad because we won’t ever have to get to that point if they would just lower the prices a bit more!