– by David Kozlowski

The MoviePass subscription service, which allows members to see a new movie every day, is offering a new cut-rate, monthly plan. Is this an effort to rapidly expand the service and create critical mass or is it a desperate scramble to survive in an era of dwindling theater audiences? Perhaps both?

According to Variety, MoviePass just launched a limited-time subscription for $6.95 per month (down from their previous deal of $9.95 per month); the catch is that users must sign-up for a 12-month term of service. The total cost is $89.95 per year (this includes a $6.55 processing fee). Is that a good deal?

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Variety claims that the average movie ticket price today is $8.60 (I paid $12.00 for an adult, non-matinee ticket at my local California theater last week). Consequently, if you only go to the movies once a month — paying the ticket price noted by Variety — you’ll spend roughly the same amount in just 10 visits. In other words, if you somehow maximize the MoviePass potential and see a new movie every day, that’s a value of $3,139.00.

I suppose there are a few hardcore cinephiles hitting a theater every single day, crazy as that sounds. For most Americans, one visit per month to theaters is well above average (there’s plenty of data suggesting that most folks only visit theaters a few times per year). However, even if you’re only seeing a single movie per month, MoviePass is still a pretty good deal.

What’s odd is that some theater owners are unhappy with MoviePass. Remember, theaters make most of their revenue from concessions (popcorn, soda, candy, and even alcohol, too), so it’s really in their best interest to plant as many butts in seats as possible. However, some theater chains, like AMC, offer their own loyalty programs, which obviously competes with MoviePass.

MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe explained to Variety:

“We’re discovering there’s much more interest and demand than we ever imagined. We keep hearing from customers that they want an annual plan or they wanted some way to give MoviePass as a gift.”

Honestly, I wouldn’t mind getting a MoviePass subscription as a holiday gift (somebody share this article with my wife, please).

The major question facing many consumers is whether MoviePass is a stable and viable company. Dropping $89.95 for an annual subscription isn’t a ton of money, but what’s the guarantee they’ll be around in a year? The MoviePass website has a simple cancellation process, but the MoviePass FAQ indicates, “there are no refunds for the remaining unused time on your plan… you will not be able to set up a new account for 9 months.” Whoa, that does not sound very consumer friendly.

Do you subscribe to MoviePass? How often do you use your MoviePass each month? Let us know in the comments down below!

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SOURCE: Variety , MoviePass

David Kozlowski is a writer, podcaster, and visual artist. A U.S. Army veteran, David worked 20 years in the videogame industry and is a graduate of Arizona State University's Film and Media Studies.