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MoviePass goes down again amid Mission: Impossible blackout, price hikes

If the film being blocked out didn't deter you last weekend, perhaps having to pay extra will.

Your mission should you choose to accept it: Buy a Mission: Impossible -- Fallout ticket using MoviePass.
David James/Paramount Pictures

Editors' note: 3:25 p.m. PT: MoviePass appears to be experiencing another outage, with the app reporting that there are "no more screenings at this theater" for cinemas that would use the MoviePass credit card to finish the transaction. Theaters that support E-Ticketing appear to be working. Possibly intensifying the issue is a Business Insider report claiming that MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe has told employees the service will no longer support major releases, specifically citing Disney's Christopher Robin and Warner Bros.' The Meg as movies that will not be available through MoviePass.

Original story first published July 30 at 11:24 a.m. PT follows:

MoviePass appears to be actively making weekend movie watching a task worthy of Ethan Hunt and Co.

Many subscribers, including me, couldn't select Mission: Impossible - Fallout this weekend, as the app either had it grayed out or listed as a "premium showtime," as it does with Imax or 3D screenings. I could previously remedy this issue by selecting the "unlisted showtime" option in the MoviePass app when a 2D showtime wasn't appearing, but that option appears to have been removed.

So maybe you'd instead change course and see an already-released movie in its second or third week? On Sunday, that probably meant paying a surge fee. Many local theaters, at least in the San Diego area, listed a surge fee of as much as $8 for nearly every screening, meaning that MoviePass would only be covering about $3 to $4 per ticket with my subscription and I would still be blocked from seeing that film a second time.

MoviePass has said the new surge pricing is meant to encourage moviegoers away from new releases, but it's also looking like it's now using it to deter weekend cinema viewing entirely. Indeed, now that it's Monday, surge pricing appears to have been removed from most showtimes, but Mission: Impossible is still, well, impossible to see.

I've reached out to MoviePass for comment and will update upon hearing back. The company had a rough time last week, suffering a temporary outage on Thursday after running out of money, which led MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe to issue an apology.

Many MoviePass customers also took to social media with their frustrations with the service, including one customer claiming that MoviePass' surge pricing is more expensive than buying a ticket at their local theater:

This customer had a slightly more favorable view on the situation. "This app seriously has brought me so much joy with its zany mathematics that I'm tempted to pay," he wrote. 

This customer had issues with the check-in process:

And this customer noting that surge pricing means MoviePass only saves $2.40 off the ticket cost:

Are you having issues with MoviePass or do you still love the service? Don't worry, the comments section will not self-destruct.

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