MoviePass

Discuss films of the 21st century including current cinema, current filmmakers, and film festivals.
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matrixschmatrix
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Re: MoviePass

#126 Post by matrixschmatrix » Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:08 pm

I mean... you're probably naive if you think you are keeping your data from being collected and sold regardless of what you opt out of, but happily the people who have access to it are the same idiots who brought the world the Juicero, and probably will not succeed in doing anything noteworthily ainistef woth it

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Brian C
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Re: MoviePass

#127 Post by Brian C » Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:36 pm

I almost never buy concessions myself, so joke’s on them!

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Big Ben
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Re: MoviePass

#128 Post by Big Ben » Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:53 pm

If MoviePass is willing to make such changes based simply on data that has every possibility of fluctuation I think all you pass holders are going to be in for some rocky times.

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hearthesilence
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Re: MoviePass

#129 Post by hearthesilence » Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:57 pm

I rarely go to AMC anyway, I've been using it only for smaller venues (BAM, Lincoln Center, IFC, the Angelika and Lincoln Plaza when it was still around). I figured this ride would last a year at best, so if I have to cancel when my year-long membership runs out, so be it.

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DarkImbecile
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Re: MoviePass

#130 Post by DarkImbecile » Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:04 pm

I bought the annual pass in early December, and have already used it to see enough movies over the past 6-7 weeks that I've saved over $100 more than the annual subscription cost. Unless they actually break into my house and steal their money back, "rocky times" can only get so bad for me. If they make it to the end of the year through selling my data or whatever and I save over $1000 on my favorite expenditure, I will consider that a fair trade.

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Brian C
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Re: MoviePass

#131 Post by Brian C » Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:09 pm

Yeah ditto. I’ve had mine for two months and have seen over 30 movies for $20. If I cancel today I’ll have gotten my money’s worth many times over.

neal
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Re: MoviePass

#132 Post by neal » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:13 pm

McCrutchy wrote:I've really never understood why any NATO member--certainly not the big chains--would accept the cards in the first place. If some service came along and offered to pay my credit cards off for $100 a month per card, on the proviso that I only purchase certain expensive things once a month, I'll bet Visa, MasterCard and American Express (to say nothing of my issuing bank), would be royally pissed off.
This seems to be a common refrain-- but, as I've suggested before in this thread, if they want to accept Mastercard debit cards at all, I don't think they have any choice.

See Page 227 of the Mastercard rules. Section 5.10.1(1)
Mastercard Rules wrote:1. Honor All Debit Mastercard Cards. Merchants that choose to accept Debit Mastercard
Cards must honor all valid Debit Mastercard Cards without discrimination when properly
presented for payment. The Merchant must maintain a policy that does not discriminate
among customers seeking to make purchases with a Debit Mastercard Card.
Ribs wrote:Net loss is to be expected when you’re in the process of renovating 90% of your theaters
True. But both attendance and ticket revenue were down from 2016 as well.

As for whether this is good or bad for AMC-- it's really a big optimization problem.

My understanding is that movie theaters get an average of about 40% of ticket proceeds. If we take MoviePass's most basic data at face value, they're paying an average of $11.88 per ticket. The portion of this that goes to the theater is about $4.75 (which makes MoviePass's demand for $3 a big demand...). But those patrons also by concessions, and the profits on that stay with the theater. Very rough estimate (averaging Q4 2014 and Q4 2013 numbers, just because they're what I found first that didn't come from MoviePass), a patron spends, on average, $4.18 in concessions.

Assuming the numbers above:

On one customer, without the MoviePass deal, the theater brings in $4.75 + $4.18 = $8.93
On one customer, with the MoviePass deal, the theater brings in ($4.75 - $3.00) + (0.8)($4.18) = $5.09

What percentage increase in attendance for some population does MoviePass have to cause in order for it to be a good deal for the movie theater?

Assuming that everything else stays the same (per patron spending, costs, etc), we can find the break even point by solving:

($4.75 - $3.00)(x) + (0.8)($4.18)(x) = $8.93
$1.75(x) + $3.34(x) = $8.93
$5.09(x) = $8.93
x = $8.93/$5.09
x = 1.75

(n.b. I rounded.)

So, a 75% increase in attendance for the theaters is the breakeven point in this deal. If MoviePass increases attendance by 76% or more, the theaters bring in more money by signing on the the MoviePass deal. Obviously, there are a lot of assumptions here about constant costs and margins, etc. But the point is-- it's a math problem.

If you use MoviePass's numbers-- namely $4.88 in concessions-- MoviePass only has to increase attendance by more than 58% for it to work out in the theater's favor.

But... this percentage increase doesn't have to be in total attendance. If MoviePass subscribers averaged 4 movies per year before MoviePass and now see 8 movies per year because of MoviePass -- the theater is making more money off of these patrons if they sign on to the MoviePass deal (assuming, again, that per ticket concession spending and costs stay the same).

The real questions are whether the 2 million person subset of the market that subscribes to MoviePass is (1) a big enough drop in the bucket to matter and (2) worth the risk of potentially devaluing your product over the longterm.

wattsup32
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Re: MoviePass

#133 Post by wattsup32 » Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:47 pm

I just got an email that says subscribers now have to upload a photo of their ticket stub for a movie they see today before they are permitted to use the service to see a movie again tomorrow.

This is almost certainly due to the number of asshats who have been using the card to buy concessions instead of tickets.

And, just because I was looking through the Terms of Use and found this odd, your account can be suspended or terminated if you:

(ix) On more than one occasion during any thirty (30) day period you do not view the movie for which you purchased a ticket with your MoviePass Card in its entirety.

A lot of fun could be had with speculating on all the possible interpretations and limitations of this clause.

MongooseCmr
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Re: MoviePass

#134 Post by MongooseCmr » Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:15 pm

How would that even be verified?

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movielocke
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Re: MoviePass

#135 Post by movielocke » Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:19 am

MongooseCmr wrote:How would that even be verified?
cellphone tracking probably.

HitchcockLang
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Re: MoviePass

#136 Post by HitchcockLang » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:01 am

wattsup32 wrote:I just got an email that says subscribers now have to upload a photo of their ticket stub for a movie they see today before they are permitted to use the service to see a movie again tomorrow.

This is almost certainly due to the number of asshats who have been using the card to buy concessions instead of tickets.

And, just because I was looking through the Terms of Use and found this odd, your account can be suspended or terminated if you:

(ix) On more than one occasion during any thirty (30) day period you do not view the movie for which you purchased a ticket with your MoviePass Card in its entirety.

A lot of fun could be had with speculating on all the possible interpretations and limitations of this clause.
Holy crap. I hope this doesn't pertain to me (I didn't receive the email) because I saw Darkest Hour last night and threw my stub away. I would hate to be permanently locked out of my MoviePass account because of bad communication.

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mfunk9786
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Re: MoviePass

#137 Post by mfunk9786 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:50 am

I also didn't get any e-mail to this effect. Perhaps only heavy users received this, or users that they're mildly suspicious of?

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Brian C
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Re: MoviePass

#138 Post by Brian C » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:09 pm

I didn’t get one either.

On a completely different note, my parents told me yesterday that they had an issue getting tickets and that they immediately got ahold of MoviePass’s customer service and everything got fixed immediately. I mention it because it’s 100% the opposite of every other MoviePass customer service story I’ve heard.

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DarkImbecile
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Re: MoviePass

#139 Post by DarkImbecile » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:38 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:I also didn't get any e-mail to this effect. Perhaps only heavy users received this, or users that they're mildly suspicious of?
I didn’t get it either, and I would have assumed I’d be considered a heavy user (they’ve already lost over $200 on my year-long subscription less than three months in), unless “heavy” means “literally daily” - and I suppose it might. Maybe it’s a random pilot.

Off-topic, beside the monetary benefit, the thing I’ve appreciated most about this service is that I can justify rewatching movies in theater for the first time in my adult life. It’s so satisfying when normally I would wait a year or more to revisit something like Blade Runner 2049, which rewards multiple viewings.

HitchcockLang
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Re: MoviePass

#140 Post by HitchcockLang » Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:20 pm

Apparently, via a Twitter comment from MoviePass, this ticket stub photo verification system is in beta testing and only a small percentage of users have been "randomly selected" for this.

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Oedipax
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Re: MoviePass

#141 Post by Oedipax » Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:14 pm

Heh. This ticket stub verification reminds me of going to see something at a big multiplex in Paris (UGC les Halles) and a couple guys approaching me offering a lower price right before I queued up. Curiosity got the best of me, and I always enjoy practicing my French speaking with the locals, so I went for it. Basically I just handed them however many euros they were asking and they bought a ticket for the film I wanted from one of the automated kiosks and handed it to me. I got in fine. I suppose they were just pocketing the difference on one of the monthly/yearly movie passes there. 'Le cinéma est la plus belle escroquerie du monde,' as Godard said.

wattsup32
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Re: MoviePass

#142 Post by wattsup32 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:32 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:I also didn't get any e-mail to this effect. Perhaps only heavy users received this, or users that they're mildly suspicious of?
It would be a colossal waste of their time to be suspicious of me given that I have maxed out at using the service 7 times in a month, and done that only once, since subscribing.

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hearthesilence
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Re: MoviePass

#143 Post by hearthesilence » Fri Mar 02, 2018 7:04 pm

Oedipax wrote:Heh. This ticket stub verification reminds me of going to see something at a big multiplex in Paris (UGC les Halles) and a couple guys approaching me offering a lower price right before I queued up. Curiosity got the best of me, and I always enjoy practicing my French speaking with the locals, so I went for it. Basically I just handed them however many euros they were asking and they bought a ticket for the film I wanted from one of the automated kiosks and handed it to me. I got in fine. I suppose they were just pocketing the difference on one of the monthly/yearly movie passes there. 'Le cinéma est la plus belle escroquerie du monde,' as Godard said.
I kind of wondered if someone would try something like this on MoviePass. Granted, you'd be limited to one opportunity a day, but $5 for, say, 30 films a month is a nice bit of pocket change for a kid.

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Luke M
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Re: MoviePass

#144 Post by Luke M » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:42 pm

I think I’m only averaging 3 movies a month. Hopefully they don’t make it more challenging to use.

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McCrutchy
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Re: MoviePass

#145 Post by McCrutchy » Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:47 am

Why Is MoviePass Blocking Red Sparrow Ticket Purchases This Weekend?
When reached by Deadline for a response to this conundrum, MoviePass responded as follows:

“We are constantly testing all aspects of our service to optimize the model for theaters, distributors and members. We occasionally remove some films from our ticketing inventory in some markets for a limited time, similar to how we organically promote films in certain markets to better understand member behavior. As part of this ongoing testing, we have stepped up our efforts to remind members to always double-check the MoviePass app to confirm that their preferred showtimes and theaters are available for the movie they are planning to see before they leave for the theater.”

[...]

Essentially some in distribution circles believe that MoviePass trumpets itself as a catalyst for indie moviegoing because it’s a lower volume business versus event titles. The notion is that MoviePass is in the business of increasing subscribers, not individual movie ticket purchases over the long run.

At this moment in time, Red Sparrow is expected to open to $20M, which means that even with MoviePass blocking theaters, it’s not slowing down ticket sales.

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Luke M
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Re: MoviePass

#146 Post by Luke M » Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:51 am

I can check into Red Sparrow at my local theater.

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Ribs
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Re: MoviePass

#147 Post by Ribs » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:15 am

Again, this feels like they're really playing their cards wrong; now, not only can MoviePass weaponize its users against particular theaters, but it can do so against the films themselves? Are they angling for a cut of the studio's backend, too?

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Grand Wazoo
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Re: MoviePass

#148 Post by Grand Wazoo » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:57 am

I received an email from MoviePass specifically pushing Red Sparrow, so this makes no sense at all.

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Brian C
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Re: MoviePass

#149 Post by Brian C » Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:09 pm

I did, too.

I have to say, I'm souring quite a bit on MoviePass. Taking away the AMC River East was a big blow for me, and while I haven't been impacted by this Red Sparrow thing or the ticket stub photo thing, it just adds to the ominous feeling that on any given day I'll wake up to new restrictions out of the blue. And speaking about life in general, nothing causes me more anxiety than the feeling that the other shoe's about to drop, so while I'm well-adjusted enough that this is a low-level problem as applied specifically to MoviePass, I still kinda resent the uncertainty and seeming randomness of it all.

I guess the way I'd put it is that my own personal MoviePass doomsday clock has moved up another minute. They save me a fair bit of money, but there's only so much I'm willing to put up with for a few extra bucks, and I've got no problem cutting them out if the negativity outweighs the fun of having it.

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McCrutchy
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Re: MoviePass

#150 Post by McCrutchy » Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:38 pm

I'm almost questioning whether MoviePass was intentionally restarted essentially so it would function as a short-term data mine. Perhaps the parent company always knew (or at the very least, strongly suspected) that they couldn't sustain the current model in the long term, which might explain both the constantly changing terms of service, and the MoviePass' aggressive attempts at bargaining for compensation with theater chains.

I mean, perhaps the thought process was to basically gather as much data as possible with the collateral they had, and if, at best, MoviePass' return been a shocking success, the service would have been a game-changer, and then it could have continued and possibly flourished, making the parent company a ton of money in the process.

Of course, the jury is still out, but it seems that the likelier scenario, where MoviePass cannot sustain the form of membership it began in August (seemingly technically already the case), is probably going to come to pass. The math simply doesn't favor MoviePass in their battles with the theaters over profits, and so far, none of the chains have seemed to capitulate to them in any way. Barring some kind of massive cash injection, I have to wonder when the well will run dry, now.

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