MoviePass Waitlist Is Open, but 'Overwhelming' Demand Is Crashing Its Servers

The movie theater subscription service returns.

Marcos Cabello
Based in Boston, Marcos Cabello has been a personal finance reporter for NextAdvisor and CNET. Marcos has covered cryptocurrency, investing, banking, and the US economy, among other personal finance subjects. If you don't find Marcos behind his computer screen, you'll probably find him behind another screen, playing the newest Nintendo Switch title, streaming the latest TV show or reading a book on his Kindle.
Marcos Cabello
2 min read

Though MoviePass is set to officially relaunch on Labor Day, the waitlist for the once popular subscription service has already opened. Movie fans have until Monday, Aug. 29, to join the waitlist -- but folks aren't waiting until then to sign up. 

The company said in a tweet Thursday that "overwhelming demand" has caused MoviePass' site servers to crash, resulting in an error message when people try to join the waitlist. 

MoviePass said it's currently working to fix the issue, collaborating with its provider to increase capacity to meet demand. The company didn't immediately respond to a request for additional comment.

MoviePass originally launched in 2011 and tried out various subscription models. In 2017, it debuted its infamous $10 unlimited plan, which let people see one movie a day. The plan brought in thousands of customers but also burned through the company's money. After several more changes and increased competition from theaters launching their own subscription services, including AMC's A List and Regal's Unlimited, MoviePass eventually closed up shop.

Now MoviePass plans to launch a credit-based service. Most customers who sign up during the beta period will be in $10, $20 and $30 price tiers; each will correspond with a number of credits subscribers can use toward purchasing movie tickets. 

It's too soon to say whether this relaunch of MoviePass will actually be successful. "Overwhelming demand" on a free waitlist doesn't guarantee that a service or product will flourish. 

Spotify had more than 2 million people sign up for the Car Thing waitlist, but the streaming service pulled the plug on the product about five months after its release, because of lackluster sales.

Only time will tell if MoviePass will survive this time around.