How Does MoviePass Work, and Is It Worth It?

If you’re a movie fan who loves to go to the movies, you’ve probably heard of MoviePass. The New York-based company allows its customers to see any movie, at any theater, any day of the week for a flat subscription fee.

Early on MoviePass had a relatively high subscription fee. This meant that the service was really only meant for diehard film fanatics. However, earlier this year MoviePass slashed their subscription fee to a mere $9.95/month. $9.95/month to see any movie, at any theater, any day of the week caused movie fans to sign up to MoviePass in droves. This caused some processing delays and buggy app behavior. This led to some people questioning the legitimacy of MoviePass. Is MoviePass worth it? Or is it too good to be true? Is MoviePass really worth it?

How Does It Work?

The first thing users have to do is sign up via the MoviePass website. Once you sign up you will be sent a physical card. This card looks and acts exactly like any other debit or credit card in your wallet. Once you have the card, fire up the MoviePass app (Android or iOS) and pair your card to the app.


When you want to catch a movie, open the MoviePass app to browse theaters and show times. Once you’ve made your selection, the debit card is then automatically loaded with the exact amount of money needed to purchase your ticket. Finally, use the debit card to purchase your ticket at the box office or MoviePass kiosk.


What’s the Catch?

It may not seem like it, but like all businesses, MoviePass wants to make money. A lot of people have been scratching their heads wondering how MoviePass can turn a profit with this radical business model. The truth is, they’re not. The average ticket price in the US is about $10. This means that MoviePass subscribers would only need to see two movies per month to put MoviePass at a loss.


MoviePass is playing the long game. They hope that by reducing their subscription cost, the number of subscriptions will go up. MoviePass hopes that some of those subscribers won’t hit the theater all that much. This is similar to low cost gym memberships that bank on the fact that their members only show up once in a blue moon. Furthermore, to subsidize their cost, MoviePass sells user data.


It’s no secret that movie ticket prices have been on the rise. This makes MoviePass’s subscription fee of $9.95/month look really appealing. That being said, there are still some limitations that could be dealbreakers for some.


  • No 3D or IMAX Screenings – MoviePass is currently operating at a loss. It’s a gamble that the company is willing to take, but they’re not going to put themselves further in the hole by shelling out for screenings that cost significantly more than the average movie ticket.
  • You have to physically be at the theater – In order to reserve your ticket to a showtime, you have to be within 100 yards of the theater. There are some exceptions; however, this is mainly with smaller regional theater chains.
  • No advance ordering – Since you have to be physically present at the theater, ordering a ticket in advance isn’t possible. So if you’re hoping to see The Last Jedi on opening night by snagging tickets in advance, you won’t be using MoviePass unless you get to the theatre really early. Additionally, many theaters offer seat selection when buying tickets in advance. Since MoviePass doesn’t allow ordering tickets in advance, you can’t reserve a seat either. This means you’ll have to get there early if you want that coveted center seat.
  • You can only order one ticket – A MoviePass subscriber can only order one ticket. This is a bummer for families and significant others.
  • One Movie per Day – MoviePass subscribers can only see one movie per day, which won’t be an issue for most. However, if you’re in the mood to go theater hopping, you’ll have to buy every subsequent ticket the old-fashioned way.



  • Available at most theaters – Subscribers shouldn’t be pressed to find a participating MoviePass theater. MoviePass boasts that over 91% of movie theaters nationwide accept MoviePass. That even includes smaller indie theaters.
  • No blackout dates – MoviePass can get you into a movie any day of the year, from opening night to holidays, provided tickets haven’t sold out.
  • Track your movie-viewing progress – The MoviePass app keeps track of all of the movies you’ve seen, which is a nifty feature for movie nerds. Although depending on your viewing habits, this can be potentially embarrassing.
  • Price – MoviePass is $9.95/month, and you can use it every day of the month. That means you could see 30 movies for $9.95. That is an incredible value.

Is MoviePass Worth It?

While movie theater chains and financial analysts may call into question the sustainability of their business model, MoviePass is an amazing deal for consumers. There’s no guarantee that MoviePass will be around forever, but while it’s here it’s a movie lover’s dream.

Do you have a MoviePass subscription? Are you a satisfied customer? What is your overall opinion of the service? Let us know in the comments!

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