Reemerging into the spotlight after a buyout and a bankruptcy, movie subscription service MoviePass is coming back in a new form—but if you’re hoping for the return of all-you-can-watch movies for $10 a month, it’s not going to happen. The beta for the revamped service launches on Thursday morning, and will provide a tiered, credit-based system for ticket purchases, rather than the ultimately unsustainable “watch all you want” deal the service offered before it shut don in 2019.
Users who sign up for the beta can choose one of three pricing tiers—$10, $20, or $30 per month—in exchange for an as-yet-unannounced number of credits to see movies. While there is no unlimited tier, MoviePass cofounder Stacy Spikes said the company plans to allow unused credit to roll over to future months. There are also plans to let users earn free credits by watching advertisements through the PreShow platform, a facial recognition technology designed to make sure you watch every second of the commercial.
How does the new MoviePass work?
While full details haven’t been announced, the new MoviePass seems to work more like the discount programs offered by movie chains (see: AMC Stubs), but subscribers won’t be tied to a specific company’s theaters. MoviePass says it has partnerships in place with 25% of theaters in the US. You’ll also get a black MoviePass card in the mail to use at theaters if you don’t make purchases on the app.
According to Spikes, the new MoviePass system addresses some of the drawbacks of an all-you-can-watch model. “We wanted to place flexibility in the system over the simplicity that we had with the all-you-can-eat model,” he told CNET in February.
If you’re interested, you can sign up for the waitlist to join the MoviePass beta beginning on Thursday, Aug. 25 at 9 a.m. ET. If you’re selected (it’s first-come-first-served), you’ll be able to choose a pricing tier on launch day, Sept. 5, and receive 10 invites for friends. Presumably at that point we’ll have more information about what each tier offers.
Should you sign up for the new MoviePass?
Whether signing up for a monthly charge for movie-watching credits at a quarter of movie theaters is good idea really depends on how many movies you plan to see, whether your local cinema is part of the program, and how much the MoviePass credits will actually be worth. All of that is unclear at the moment. But if you’re interested in the possibility of cheaper movies, it’s free to sign up for the beta, and you probably won’t be locked into handing over your credit card number when MoviePass officially relaunches.
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