With more and more movies produced each year, it can be hard to figure out which ones to invest your time into — and your money.
With services like MoviePass and AMC’s A-List rising, the pastime of movie-going has become much like Netflix and Amazon Prime by giving consumers a number of movies for a set price. However, while it can make seeing more films easier, it risks cheapening the enjoyment of going to the movies.
MoviePass made headlines last August when it relaunched itself into an “all-you-can-watch” service for a bargain of $9.95 a month, allowing you to see one standard movie a day. Economists were skeptical, wondering how a company could remain financially solvent with a model that requires them to lose money.
In an environment where profit overrules everything else, a service like MoviePass seemed too good to be true.
Users didn’t care. The subscription service earned one million subscribers four months into their relaunch, besting the likes of Spotify, Hulu and Netflix in achieving that milestone. The company hopes to reach five million subscribers by next year. And, with its success, comes competition in the form of AMC Theaters’ A-List and the movie subscription service Sinemia.
However, the abundance of options risks dampening the actual experience of heading to the movies. When skimming over the release date of upcoming films, an excitement brews. “I can’t wait to see Tom Hanks in that one!” one could say. The process of buying a ticket in anticipation and waiting for the day of the film is an experience on its own. Then, when the day of the film arrives, you’re settled in the happiness of seeing the movie.
That adventure loses a bit of itself when distributed through a subscription model. While it may seem intuitive, allowing people to see up to 30 films a month, it runs the risk of losing its value even if you’re gaining so much of it. Much like people mindlessly scroll through Netflix for a new show to watch, so too could people walk mindlessly into movies. It’s not what the movies were made for, nor should it be allowed to stay the same.
MoviePass and services like it aren’t bad by nature, as they provide users with an option to make films more affordable and allows people to see more movies. But when you compare that to the whole experience of going to the movies — waiting for a film, buying your ticket and finally going to see the movie — it’s questionable whether those services can truly fulfill it.