MoviePass Now Costs $10, It’s Website it Terrible, and AMC Theatres are trying to block MoviePass
MoviePass lowered its movie ticket service price from $50 to $10 per month yesterday. For $10 a month, MoviePass would allow its customer to see one film a day at movie theaters across the United States. Cinephiles rejoiced until they actually ventured to MoviePass and tried to sign up for the service.
Problem 1 – MoviePass didn’t plan for High Demand
Since that announcement, people have flocked to MoviePass’ website. So many in fact that MoviePass’ website now doesn’t allow people to sign up for its service. I have been trying since last night using both methods: the regular sign up form and the Facebook sign up form. Both fail to complete the sign process.
This is the lousiest service website roll-out since The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act website (HealthCare.gov) came online on October 1, 2013. Here is the worst part: MoviePass’ website didn’t debut yesterday or this week. They have had that site online for years and didn’t secure the back-end resources so that if it was hit by a heavy traffic load, that the site would still function correctly.
As a webmaster, I have been through five or six hosts already. One in particular touts its scale-ability and 100% up-time. Why Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc. didn’t use that web host, or an analogous web host, is beyond comprehension.
MoviePass clearly didn’t anticipate demand properly.
This now displays when a person tries to sign-up for MoviePass:
A subscription plan is worthless if people can’t subscribe.
Everyday that MoviePass’s subscription feature is down, they are losing money and its MoviePass’ own fault. Their short-sightedness when came to: demand, their website, and the back-end resources that their website needed are to blame.
Problem 2 – MoviePass does not list the theaters that accept MoviePass
A movie theater search function is the most important feature to this service and MoviePass doesn’t have this feature on their website. It is unbelievable. Who designed the MoviePass website? Did anyone at MoviePass or Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc. think this through? Who at these companies had such an utter lack of website function judgement?
The first thing I looked for before trying to sign up for MoviePass was a theater search function. I wanted to put in my zip code and check if movie theaters in my area accepted MoviePass. I could don’t do it. I still can’t. There is no official function of the MoviePass website that lets you. I had to go spelunking in the comments section in MoviePass’ help desk to find a link to a function on their site that would allow me to see those MoviePass-accepting theaters in my area code. Now that function doesn’t work anymore either.
Problem 3 – AMC doesn’t want to accept MoviePass because of MoviePass’ new price point
AMC Theatres posted this official press release yesterday:
“AMC Theatres® announced today its concern that an announcement by a small fringe player in the reselling of movie tickets is not in the best interest of moviegoers, movie theatres and movie studios. Accordingly, AMC is consulting with its attorneys to determine if or how AMC can prevent a subscription program offered by MoviePass from being used at AMC Theatres in the United States. AMC is the largest movie theatre operator in the United States.”
“Small fringe player” was an immature slight that should have been beneath a business as large as AMC theatres but they feel threatened.
If AMC Theatres didn’t put something in their agreement with MoviePass about MoviePass’ price point, I don’t see how AMC Theatres stops them. AMC Theatres wouldn’t have had that foresight. AMC Theatres never would have dreamed that MoviePass would cut their price by 4/5s.
“While AMC is not opposed to subscription programs generally, the one envisioned by MoviePass is not one AMC can embrace. We are actively working now to determine whether it may be feasible to opt out and not participate in this shaky and unsustainable program.”
Luckily for cinephlies, AMC Theatres is not present in every states. Other movie theater chains and stand-alone theaters are. AMC’s move will not effect them. People will simply take their $10 MoviePass and go to one those movie theaters over AMC theaters.
At the end of the day, moviegoers have bills to pay. If they can get a good deal and see the films that they want, when they want them, they are going to go for it…if they can get to the purchase screen to actually buy the service.
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