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MoviePass Admits the Company Wasn’t Prepared for the Crazy Spike in Subscriptions

Empty movie theater
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MoviePass has been around for some time now, but last month the bulk ticketing subscription service got major attention for slashing their prices. So much attention, in fact, that it crashed their website. In a new interview, the company’s CEO admits they had no idea there would be such a spike in demand.

It used to cost subscribers upwards of $50 a month to hold a MoviePass, which allows filmgoers to see unlimited movies in a month. In August the company dropped their price to $9.95, which certainly sounds like a way-too-good-to-be-true deal for movie fans. For under ten bucks a month, you can now see one 2D screening per day – it excludes 3D and IMAX showings. It’s no wonder that the company was inundated with a flood new subscribers.

Bloomberg reports that the company gained 150,000 new subscribers within the first two days of the price drop, and as of this Tuesday MoviePass boosted subscriptions to 400,000. But it wasn’t all smooth sailing. MoviePass’ ticketing website crashed on the within hours of the announcement, the mobile app was riddled with bugs for days, and new members were told they’d have to wait weeks to receive their MoviePass card in the mail.

When I tried to join MoviePass days after the announcement, I couldn’t get the website or mobile app to work, and had to monitor their Twitter for updates on bug fixes. When things were finally up and running I was able to sign up, but I didn’t get my pass in the mail for two weeks. That was two weeks ago and the company is still dealing with major delays. On Wednesday, the company sent out an email to new subscribers to explain that there’s still a two to three week delay to receive membership cards. The email said MoviePass has tripled the size of their team and extended employee hours. But MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe told Bloomberg this week that the company “totally underestimated demand” and admitted they were “nowhere near prepared.” Lowe said the company now has 35 employees – holy cow, MoviePass only had roughly 11 employees to begin with? No wonder they weren’t prepared.

But have no fear, MoviePass holders awaiting your cards in the mail. Lowe says the company expects to be up to speed with the subscription spike in a month. In the meantime, AMC is still strongly opposed to the price drop and attempting to offer their own subscription plan. Whatever your opinions are on MoviePass, at the very least the boost in interest shows that, despite this year having the worst summer box office in a decade, people are still excited about going to the movies. Hopefully MoviePass can help put more butts in those empty seats.

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