Debate: Is MoviePass Too Good To Be True? [Updated on May 6, 2018]

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Apr 29, 2018
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Budgeting, Article, Research, Activity

Update (May 6, 2018): MoviePass changed policy again...From Lifehacker:

MoviePass’s original “see one movie a day, every day” sort-of-unlimited subscription is back for $10. On top of that, the company’s CEO said they plan on keeping it around this time.

Over the last few weeks, MoviePass has sent some mixed signals to both potential future customers as well as current subscribers. For a while, they only offered a package deal that capped out at four movies a month, plus a subscription to iHeartRadio. It didn’t help that CEO Mitch Lowe said he “didn’t know” if the original, unlimited plan would return. Then they changed their terms of service (something we’ve known they could and probably would do) and made it so you could only see some “select” films once with your MoviePass account.

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Chances are that you and your students are familiar with MoviePass as it has almost 50% brand recognition. Until recently, MoviePass offered their "too good to be true" offer which for $9.95 per month allowed moviegoers to watch up to a movie per day in theaters. Well, two things have changed recently (from The Verge): 

We learned earlier this week that for new subscribers, MoviePass is no longer allowing customers to see one movie per day. Instead, the $9.95 subscription will allow customers to purchase only four tickets per month, with MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe admitting that he doesn’t know if the “unlimited” plan will ever return...

The other change is a modification to the company’s terms of service that prohibits MoviePass customers from buying tickets to “select” movies more than once. 

Since many of your students may be MoviePass subscribers or considering it, I thought now would be a great time to gather some data from students while also conducting some online research to determine whether MoviePass is still a good deal.

Split the class into two groups and have them debate: To MoviePass or not to MoviePass, that is the question. 

Questions for your students who have MoviePass:

  • When did you sign up for it?
  • How did you find out about it? 
  • How many friends have you told about it?
  • How often have you used it? 
  • Have you gone to see more movies since you got MoviePass or did you see the same number of movies than you did previously?
  • Do you buy any refreshments or snacks when you are at the movies? 
  • Did you think that MoviePass would eventually change the terms of their subscriptions? Did you know about this change described above? 

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Articles for students to review:

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.