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MoviePass Returns Sept. 5 With $10 Starting Price, Beta Waitlist Opens Thursday

A new black MoviePass card.
MoviePass will send out new black cards to subscribers.
MoviePass

What's happening

MoviePass is relaunching in beta on Sept. 5.

Why it matters

MoviePass' original life as a $10 unlimited subscription led to the creation of several movie subscription services now run by theater chains. The service is now returning with a credit-based system starting at $10.

MoviePass is relaunching as a credit-based movie theater subscription service on Labor Day, with prices starting at $10. The service, which is relaunching under MoviePass co-founder Stacy Spikes, will launch in beta. Waitlist sign-ups will open starting this Thursday at 9 a.m. ET (6 a.m. PT) on the MoviePass website.

The launch details, first reported by Insider and which CNET has confirmed with MoviePass, will see varying prices depending on region. Most subscribers who sign up during the beta period will receive $10, $20 and $30 price tiers that will each correspond to a number of credits that can be used toward the purchase of movie tickets. This will not be an unlimited option, although Spikes has previously said that MoviePass plans to support rollover credits. 

In an email to former MoviePass customers, Spikes said the waitlist will be used to determine which markets the service will launch in, with additional markets to come.

During a February MoviePass event, Spikes also detailed plans to eventually integrate PreShow, his company's advertising platform that will optionally offer more credits in exchange for watching advertising monitored by facial detection technology.

Aside from the credit system, MoviePass will initially let people buy tickets either directly through the MoviePass mobile app or in tandem with a physical MoviePass card -- this time colored in black instead of the previous red. 

Those interested in trying out the beta will have five days to sign up on the MoviePass website before the waitlist closes, and those who are selected will be notified on the Sept. 5 launch date. The waitlist will run on a first-come, first served basis and is free to sign up.

The beta launch announcement is the latest news in the return of MoviePass, following Spikes' purchase of the brand last November. Spikes first launched MoviePass in 2011 with Hamet Witt. The service went through several initial iterations, including a $50 per month subscription for unlimited movies. When MoviePass was later helmed by Helios CEO Ted Farnsworth and MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe, the service debuted its infamous $10 unlimited plan in 2017 that brought in thousands of customers while burning through the company's money. Spikes was fired from the service in 2018, and MoviePass itself ended in Sept. 2019.

In returning to MoviePass, Spikes said its new credit model is meant to create a marketplace that is separate from the movie subscription services now run by theater chains like AMC's A-List, Regal's Unlimited and Alamo Drafthouse's Season Pass. In addition to allowing for a system that is more flexible across regions, Spikes said that theaters could also use the system to incentivize customers with discounts and promotions.

"A theater that really wants your business and finds you valuable can treat you differently than a theater that isn't trying to come after you and get you as a consumer. The flexibility is more the importance here," Spikes said in a CNET interview last February.