A more fiscally responsible MoviePass opens its waitlist this Thursday at 9 am ET

A more fiscally responsible MoviePass opens its waitlist this Thursday at 9 am ET
Remember MoviePass? The company tried to make a go of selling tickets to the movies at a set price of $9.99 per month. For that price, subscribers had no restrictions and could see as many movies per month as they wanted to. Movie Pass hoped to get discounts from theater chains to make it work and they provided users with pre-paid debit cards that would be used to pay full price for a movie ticket.

MoviePass is returning with a much better way to match revenue and expenditures

Unfortunately, the math didn't work and in 2017, six years after launching its beta program, a stake in the company was sold to analytical firm Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc. But like gravity, the math just could not be changed and MoviePass continued to spill more red ink. The stock dropped so low that Helios and Matheson had to arrange an unheard-of 1-for-250 reverse split just to get the price of the shares to a price where funds were able to buy it.

The company was desperate after subscribers were stranded at theaters as the MoviePass app went down and the pre-paid debit card was rejected at theaters. So it borrowed $5 million via a Demand Note that would pay the holder $6.2 million upon demand anytime after a week. A few weeks later, Movie Pass limited subscribers to see three movies a month for the same $9.99 monthly subscription fee with a $5 discount for additional tickets.

When that failed to work, MoviePass allowed subscribers to buy tickets to see only those films included on a list that was updated daily. Eventually, MoviePass filed for bankruptcy. But earlier this year, we showed you a coming attraction: Movie Pass was going to return this summer. And now, on the MoviePass.com website, a countdown timer counts down the days, hours, minutes, and seconds until this Thursday, August 25th, at 9 am ET.

That is when the waitlist for the service will be open. It will close on August 29th at 11:59 PM ET or whenever it is full. Those joining the waitlist will receive priority access to the service along with 10 friend invites. If you miss out on getting your name on the waitlist, the only way to join the service will be via an invite. If you were a subscriber to MoviePass before it shut down, you will receive complimentary bonus credits added to your account when joining.

MoviePass is targeting a reopening on or around September 5th, which is Labor Day. Instead of resuming service to the entire country at once, the company says that it will open markets in waves. The locations of those on the waitlist along with the locations of its theater partners will determine which markets will open first. Those on the waitlist will be notified by email when they will be able to register for the service.

Subscribers will receive credits that can be used for discounts on movie tickets

Just exactly how this iteration of MoviePass will work hasn't been decided. There will be three different tiers of service priced at $10, $20, or $30 per month. Each tier will give the subscriber a certain amount of monthly credits that can be used toward the purchase of a movie ticket. More details will be forthcoming. And in case you're wondering if you favorite big chain theater will be accepting the service, MoviePass says the service will feature all major theaters that accept major credit cards in the U.S.

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If you were a beta tester for PreShow, a company started by former MoviePass founders, you can automatically get right on the MoviePass waitlist. PreShow gives away free in-game currency for game players willing to sit through advertisements. And those who attended the MoviePass special event at Lincoln Center earlier this year are on a VIP list and will receive a complimentary Beta tester account as promised by the company.

So there it is folks. MoviePass is back and by giving away credits toward movie tickets, the company should have a better chance of matching revenue with expenditures even if ticket prices change rapidly.

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