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MoviePass's New 'Surge Pricing' Plan Sounds Awful

We're going to have to pay extra to see popular movies now, apparently.

by River Donaghey
Jun 21 2018, 5:54pm

AP Photo/Darron Cummings

MoviePass may say the company's totally fine losing around $22 million a month just so we can see Hurricane Heist without feeling bad about it, but it looks like the streaming service is about to change—and not exactly in a good way. According to a new report from Business Insider, the company will add "surge pricing" this July, meaning you're going to have to shell out some extra money if you want to catch the latest summer blockbuster.

MoviePass head Mitch Lowe told BI that MoviePass subscribers will soon have to pay $2 or more extra to see "high-demand" movies once the new plan goes into effect.

"At certain times for certain films—on opening weekend—there could be an additional charge for films," Lowe explained, saying that the new pricing model will help "make sure that we can continue to offer a valuable service and support the whole enterprise."

And sure, it doesn't seem like that big a deal to shell out a couple extra bucks to catch Infinity War right away, but come on—the magic of the MoviePass is that you pay a monthly fee and then don't think about it again, right? Having to pay extra every time you want to see a movie the company deems "popular" breaks that spell a bit. It still beats paying the full ticket price, though.

Lowe also teased some upcoming changes that don't sound so bad. Subscribers will soon be able to use MoviePass to buy 3D and IMAX tickets for an added fee, and will be able to purchase an extra ticket for "somewhere near the retail price" as part of a new "bring-a-friend" feature. The ability to buy IMAX tickets with your MoviePass is pretty exciting, especially since that was just about the only thing that made AMC's new subscription plan seem appealing. It doesn't seem like a coincidence that Lowe would chose to debut the new additions the day after AMC announced its own MoviePass rival.

All three new changes will go into effect by August, but cardholders who paid for the now-extinct annual pass won't have to pay surge pricing, and will have the ability to opt out of the IMAX availability and bring-a-friend feature if they want. Ultimately, surge pricing isn't what anyone wanted for MoviePass, but what did we all expect? The deal did always seem too good to be true.

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