MoviePass is officially back, although the first day of registration for its new beta model was accompanied by one of the company’s trademark stumbling blocks.
The service, which famously folded in 2018 after its business model that allowed customers to see unlimited movies for $9.99 a month proved unsustainable, is back with a tiered pricing system. Moviegoers who sign up for the newly relaunched service can pay either $10, $20, or $30 a month for MoviePass, though none of the plans allow for unlimited viewings. While the news of MoviePass’ return excited many fans, doubters wondered if that lack of an unlimited option would dampen enthusiasm.
As it turns out, that was not the case. MoviePass allowed users to begin signing up for its waitlist on Thursday ahead of its fall launch, and the website almost instantly crashed due to a high volume of users. Many fans who visited the website were met with an error message, though the issue was resolved later in the day.
Insider’s Jason Guerrasio reported that the two-hour server crash was due to high demand, with over 30,000 people attempting to sign up in the first five minutes.
The early enthusiasm is certainly a promising sign for MoviePass, which has to earn back consumer trust in addition to finding a sustainable business model that allows it to be cash flow positive.
There is also the challenge of getting larger theater chains to partner with MoviePass again. Companies such as AMC have remained tight-lipped about their interest in the product, and many have launched their own subscription programs that will directly compete with MoviePass. In a recent interview with IndieWire, founder Stacey Spikes revealed that the company is planning to offset those challenges by focusing on building a marketing business through its app in addition to its ticket sales revenue.
#MoviePass cofounder/CEO Stacy Spikes just told me there were over 30,000 sign ups to the waitlist this morning in the first 5 minutes it went live. That led to the sever to crash for 2.5 hours. But he tells me it’s back up and running now. https://t.co/D62XRg2b9J
— Jason Guerrasio (@JasonGuerrasio) August 25, 2022
“We look at ourselves as a technology company that wants to create a marketplace,” Spikes said. “The more business that marketplace rises, we rise with it. I would say, think of MoviePass as Airbnb to the movie industry, where now A24 can speak directly and engage with consumers directly and easily. They don’t have the muscle or the might to be able to move the needle.”