MoviePass has had a short, but interesting history. Its journey began in 2011 as a service that allowed customers to see one theater movie every day for a fixed monthly fee. Theaters resisted MoviePass to the point where the company had to step back and rethink its business model. MoviePass eventually returned with the same premise, but had a different way of getting customers into theaters. For between $24.99 – $39.99 a month (depending on where you live), MoviePass subscribers get to watch one non-3D or IMAX movie every day. It can be a good deal if you are an avid movie goer, but more casual movie watchers may want to rethink getting a subscription.
MoviePass isn’t just something anyone can have. For starters, you need to have either an iPhone or an Android phone with the MoviePass app and GPS enabled. This is a requirement because you must prove to MoviePass that you’re actually at a theater. At that point, MoviePass will put the necessary funds on a special MoviePass debit card that can be used at the kiosk.
Wait, hold on. Debit card?
When you sign up for the service, MoviePass will send you a special debit card that can only be used at theaters that accept the Discover card. When you sign up for MoviePass, you will be charged for the month while you wait for the card to reach you. When it does arrive, you’ll be under a 30-day trial. You must make up your mind whether or not you want to keep using MoviePass during that time because you’ll be set up for a yearly commitment if you don’t cancel. If you cancel before a year is over, but after the 30-day trial, you’ll be charged anywhere between $20-$75 for cancelling.
It doesn’t stop there. If you cancel at any time, you have to pay the difference between your membership cost and the number of movies you saw.
From the MoviePass website:
“If you decide to cancel MoviePass within your first month of membership, you will be charged a cancellation fee of the difference between your monthly MoviePass rate and the total dollar amount of the movies you saw. If you’re paying $30 dollars a month for MoviePass and you saw 5 movies at a cost of $10 each, you would pay a $20 cancellation fee. If subscription fees were more then the cost of the films, you will be credited the difference.”
In the end, MoviePass doesn’t work like a trial offer from Netflix. If you sign up, be prepared to either use it fully, or pay up for deciding to cancel.