MoviePass Warns Subscribers That "Peak Pricing" Is Coming

Presumably, this means that tentpole titles will cost subscribers a few extra bucks to see on opening weekend, though MoviePass hasn't unveiled the exact cost.

MoviePass diluted its service a bit more over the weekend by alerting 3 million customers that "peak pricing" is on its way, though it offered few details about how much the innovation will cost its monthly subscribers.

Peak pricing refers to a surcharge that its users must pay "if the combination of demand for a title, date or part of day is higher."

Presumably, this means that tentpole titles — like for franchises involving Marvel, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Batman, Fast and Furious, Avatar, etc. — will cost subscribers a few extra bucks to see on opening weekend, though MoviePass hasn't unveiled the exact cost.

This latest update follows a previous rule-change stipulating that MoviePass subscribers would not be able to use the service to see the same movie multiple times. That rule is to prevent users from getting a ticket a day for the hottest movie then selling it outside the theater.

MoviePass clearly needs to do something to stem the bleeding, as it will burn through $45 million in cash this month alone by purchasing up to a ticket per day for its subscribers who pay just $10 per month. 

The company's parent, data firm Helios and Matheson Analytics, is addressing its cash crunch by raising $164 million via bonds and preferred stock and said last week that it could require spending more than $1.2 billion to keep MoviePass afloat and growing.

The peak-pricing surcharge will be waived for users who pay for their subscriptions annually or quarterly, and those who pay monthly will get a "peak pass," meaning the surcharge will be waived once per month.

"Our aim is to create the most flexible and cost-efficient product, so that we don’t have to simply raise the price on the subscription," MoviePass said in its letter that it emailed to users over the weekend.

In its email, MoviePass also said it would soon be allowing access to 3D and Imax showings for an upgrade fee, though it did not disclose how much that would cost, either.

MoviePass also said it would launch a "bring-a-guest" service so a subscriber could purchase an extra ticket through the MoviePass app then, if the guest signs up for MoviePass within the next 24 hours, the user would get a refund for the amount paid for the guest's ticket.