If you could watch one movie a day for an entire year, all for the price of 5 movies, would you do it? Heck yeah, I would. Thanks to MoviePass, I can do exactly that.
Since I signed up back in December, I’ve already gotten more than my money’s worth. It feels so good to decide to watch a movie and know that it’s already paid for. However, all good things have a negative side, and MoviePass is no different.
The more I use the perk, the more I’ve been noticing the downsides of MoviePass. Some of these frustrations are directly linked to the subscription-based ticketing service, but others are just the consequence of human behavior. Here are a few drawbacks to MoviePass:
The success of your movie day/night depends on the reliability of the MoviePass app.
In order to be able to purchase a movie ticket, you’d have to check in through the MoviePass app by selecting the desired movie, showing time, and theater. This will then load your MoviePass debit card with the value needed to purchase the ticket. Well, this workflow only works if the app is running properly. If there’s an issue with the app, good luck getting your ticket. Unless the issue is resolved, you’re out of luck.
One of my nights at the movies was almost ruined because the MoviePass app was having issues. Many members were complaining about not being able to log in to start their check-in process. My issue was a different one in that the app wouldn’t load the list of theaters or movies for me to check in. Luckily, I was able to find a workaround (thanks to Reddit) so I was able to get my ticket on-time. If I didn’t find the workaround, my night would’ve been a bad one.
Showings are getting sold out more often.
With how popular MoviePass has gotten, there’s a chance that the recently released movie you’re planning will be sold out if you don’t purchase a ticket in advance. It doesn’t even have to be a blockbuster movie. If the movie is halfway decent, Moviepass members are more willing to give it a shot because it doesn’t cost them anything. Even if the movie turns out bad, so what? There’s nothing to lose (except for time, I guess).
Since I’ve become a member of the program, I’ve seen movies getting sold out 30-45 minutes before their showing time. The crazy thing is that it wasn’t even release day for those movies! Moviegoers will have to get to the theaters at least 30 minutes earlier than they’re used to unless they want to risk a sold-out showing.
Quieter hours for the movies are harder to come by.
Showing times when there should be fewer people at the movies are harder to come by. Before the explosion of MoviePass, mid-week showings and matinee were the best times to go to enjoy a quieter theater. That’s not often the case anymore.
I’ve been testing out different times to attend a showing for optimal viewing experience: mid-week nights, early morning weekends, and early afternoon weekends. I’ve yet to find a consistent time with the least amount of people at the theaters. Hopefully, a few more weeks of trying different times will give me a better idea.
There’s little to no consequence for showing up late to a movie showing.
It may be just me being sensitive to interruptions during the movies by latecomers, but I’ve been noticing more people showing up late to the movies. This behavior seems to be enabled by the MoviePass business model because there is no consequence to showing up late to a movie. The membership is already paid for so it doesn’t cost the member anything extra if they were to miss a part of the movie. They can always watch it again some other day.
MoviePass has changed the game for movie watching, but there were some unintended consequences that resulted from the influx of members. It’s harder to secure tickets for ideal showing times so you may have to settle for a different time. The movie watching environment may not be optimal either since the seats are usually pretty packed.
Even with all the downsides, I’d still say MoviePass is a great deal for movie lovers. If you can be flexible with when you’d watch a movie and can ignore inconsiderate movie patrons, this card will save you a ton of money. Give it a shot if you haven’t gotten one yet.