By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act June 29, 2011 at 3:04AM
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.