Thursday, June 30, 2011

MoviePass Has A Short Lived Opening As Their Beta Is Put On Hold

Earlier today we blogged about MoviePass, a new all-you-can-watch movie service that was planned to launch in beta in San Francisco this week. Apparently plans to launch the new service weren't backed by major theaters as many have been pulling away and distancing themselves from the service. A

MC even claimed MoviePass included the theater chain without its consent.

“Plans for this program were developed without AMC’s knowledge or input,” Stephen Colanero, AMC Theatres‘ marketing chief, said Thursday in a press release. “It was news to us to see that we were participants and we will be communicating to those theaters they are not to accept MoviePass.”

At least two other major movie chains, Camera Cinemas and Landmark Theatres, also confirmed the would be turning away customers who attempt to use MoviePass.

“We are stunned that an announcement like this was made, and they ‘forgot’ to discuss it with their clients,” Landmark Theatres CEO Ted Mundorff told TheWrap in an interview. “We are not interested in outside entities setting ticket prices for us.”

MoviePass coordinated their ticketing with online ticket sellers, instead of directly through the cinemas, after not being able to get exhibitors to sign on. The company hoped to get a proof-of-concept out of its private beta and use that to get the movie chains on board, said MoviePass co-founder Stacy Spikes in a phone interview with

Even though the beta is currently on hold the company plans to purse other avenues in hopes to get other theaters to test the service, with the aim of resuming the trial period and proving the model to theater chains.

“We’re enthusiastic that once we can walk them through the service they’ll be excited, we just haven’t had that opportunity yet,” Spikes said. “The silver lining of all of this is that this has created the ability to have that dialog now.”

For now at least it looks like the plans to launch an unlimited movie experience are on hold. I guess we'll just have to wait and see if the theater chains warm up to the idea or if MoviePass will have to try a work around to get their service in place.

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