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All-You-Can-Watch Netflix Model Coming To Theatrical Releases (Co-Created By Stacy Spikes)

by Tambay A. Obenson
June 29, 2011 3:04 AM
4 Comments
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Things that make you go hmm... is this what the future might look like? All you cinephiles out there should be interested in this:

MoviePass, a new $50-per-month service for film fans, will let subscribers watch unlimited movies in theaters using their smartphones as tickets. The all-you-can-watch service, announced Monday with a private beta starting in the San Francisco Bay Area just in time for the Fourth of July blockbuster weekend, is looking to shake up the theater business in much the same way Netflix has changed the DVD-rental game. MoviePass will launch with an “unlimited pass” service allowing subscribers to go to as many films as they can stand for $50 a month. If they want to see a 3-D or Imax film, they will pay a $3 surcharge. A “limited pass” offering four movies a month for $30 is in the works.

So, all-you-can-eat movies, borrowing the Netflix model, except, in this case, theatrical screenings are the order of the day.

And guess who's spearheading MoviePass... none other than Mr Stacy Spikes, the founder of the Urbanworld Foundation Inc., which owns and runs the Urbanworld Film Festival here in New York City; he posted it on his Facebook page earlier today, but, apparently, the initial announcement was made on June 20th, when Stacy announced the project's website, which you can find HERE.

Now, for someone like me living in New York City, where movie ticket prices range between $12 and $13, this could be attractive. I already gripe often about the cost of movies here, and with a pass like this, just as I currently do with Netflix's à la carte streaming feature, I'll be much more inclined to see movies in the theater, and more often.

Even with online ticketing, this side of the business is still a 75-year-old business and there’s not a lot of innovation... Getting your tickets, how you do that, how you interact with the theater, how you interact with the studio, none of that has really changed. We’re giving the viewer a lot more power and also allowing [studios and moviegoers] to speak with each other," Stacy Spikes said in an interview with Wired.com.

So could this be the so-called "killer-app" that the studios need to bring audiences back into the theaters?

There's still a lot I'd like to know, and hopefully we can get Stacy to talk to us about this in detail. More importantly for those involved, how will this make money? Any of our Bay area readers planning on signing up, since they're starting with you folks first?

In the meantime, check out Wired's write-up of MoviePass HERE.

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4 Comments

  • Terence | June 29, 2011 12:26 PMReply

    They have had this system in France for years. It's about half the price there, 20 euro a month for a single card and 35 if you want to bring someone. It's almost unreasonably expensive given that precedent. I will definitly buy one tho. I had one in France and it was literally one of the reasons I wanted to stay.

  • blah blah | June 29, 2011 10:35 AMReply

    $50 bucks a month is way too much - especially if it is per person. Definitely not family friendly.

  • Robin | June 29, 2011 9:46 AMReply

    If they find a way to make this easy and profitable for small theaters, I'm definitely down. If that actually translated into most of the movies I want to see, I'd drop that cash, but not if i'm at the mercy of the megaplex solely.

  • Yalanda at DryerBuzz.com | June 29, 2011 4:04 AMReply

    It's hard to get in and out of a movie without spending $50 bucks, but I envision getting to the movie theatre and finding the desired screenings already full with subscribers and then what? Movie on stand by, black out dates, times etc? Guaranteed seating for an additional 25 perhaps?

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