MoviePass tries to force lapsed subscribers back into the fold

There’s a new chapter in the ongoing saga of MoviePass.  This time, the news isn’t about an executive’s resignation or an end to its annual plan, though.

MoviePass is now reportedly re-enrolling lapsed subscribers because the company “really hopes you will begin enjoying your MoviePass subscription again.”

The announcement was sent to a handful of lapsed subscribers which the company referred to as a “select test group.” Various reports indicate that the test group is drawn from a pool of former customers who chose not to renew their MoviePass subscription when the company changed how the platform worked.

A statement released by MoviePass both confirmed and clarified the reasons behind the re-enrollment of former subscribers and the terms of the plan they’re being enrolled in.

“There are a small number of people whose accounts have had conflicting status – whether they opted out and then back in again or their cancellation didn’t complete. In case this was the result of a glitch in the system or an incomplete cancellation, we put anyone whose account status was unclear into a suspended status and did not charge them,” reads the statement. “We have now included them in what we think is a terrific one-time promotional offer. If they are interested in returning to their original unlimited subscription, they can. If they are not, they simply click the link below and opt out. This is nothing more than a promotional offer that has been well received by many members who have been asking for it.”

The message says that if these customers do not want to be charged for the plan that they were forcibly enrolled in, they’ll have to opt out by October 4 or their accounts will be charged.

The plan itself isn’t one that is likely to encourage too many erstwhile subscribers to return. At first glance, the plan might seem like a decent one. It offers unlimited movies, up to one a day, for $10 a month. Unfortunately, the phrase that will likely kill most people’s enthusiasm for the service is “based on existing inventory.”

The above phrase means that you can only see a handful of movies from a list that MoviePass chooses for you. This list rarely includes popular new releases and offers limited showtimes. Even if there is a movie on the list that you want to see, you might be forced to see it at 2:25 on a Tuesday or at 11:45 at night.

Based on the information we have about this plan, it seems unlikely that MoviePass’s gambit will work. After all, an unlimited movie pass doesn’t do customers much good if they’re forced to see movies that have been out for three weeks, or are so unpopular that MoviePass thinks it won’t cost them much money to support them. Part of the appeal of the earlier MoviePass subscription plan was being able to go see the latest releases with your friends, sometimes multiple times, without worrying about the cost.

Updated on October 3, 2018: Added a statement from MoviePass regarding the re-enrollment terms.

Movies & TV

The Mandalorian snags Taika Waititi as the voice of a classic Star Wars villain

The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars series planned for Disney's streaming video service, will be one of the most expensive television shows ever made. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Movies & TV

MoviePass returns to unlimited movies plan, but with plenty of restrictions

Troubled subscription-based movie service MoviePass is making headlines on a daily basis lately, and not in a good way. Here's a timeline of events for the company once described as Netflix for movie theaters.
Mobile

Google Fi: Phones, plans, pricing, perks, and more explained

Google's wireless service, formerly Project Fi, now goes by the name of Google Fi, and it's now compatible with a majority of Android phones, as well as iPhones. Here's everything you need to know about Google Fi.
Computing

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.
Home Theater

Here’s what’s new on HBO and what’s leaving in April 2019

Whether you're a cable lifer or a staunch cord cutter, there's never been a better time to get down with premium TV. April 2019 brings Game of Thrones season 8, BlacKkKlansman, and Crazy Rich Asians to HBO.
Movies & TV

Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: Everything we know so far

Quentin Tarantino's ninth feature film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, uses the infamous 1969 Manson Family murders as a backdrop to tell a story set in bohemian Los Angeles. Here's everything we know so far.
Movies & TV

Us review: Jordan Peele makes seeing double singularly terrifying

Jordan Peele follows up his Oscar-winning 2017 thriller Get Out with a more straightforward horror film in Us, but the film's blunt terror succeeds thanks to fantastic performances from the cast and clever storytelling.
Movies & TV

Want free movie tickets? Beam these ads into your eyeballs for 15 minutes

Would you watch ads for 20 minutes to earn a free movie ticket? MoviePass co-founder Stacy Spikes bets you will, and he's launching PreShow, a new app with some pretty advanced technology, to prove it.
Movies & TV

New John Wick: Chapter 3 trailer brings gunfights, dogs, and Matrix Easter eggs

A new trailer for John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum punctuates the action with a deeper look at the film's star-studded cast, as well as a sly reference to Keanu Reeves' other big action franchise.
Movies & TV

Comcast launches Xfinity Flex, a $5-a-month service aimed at cord cutters

For $5 a month, Xfinity Flex gives existing Xfinity internet subscribers a 4K- and HDR-ready set-top box that can stream video from YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, as well as free TV from apps like Cheddar and ESPN3.
Movies & TV

HBO’s Deadwood movie rustles up a trailer and a release date

This spring, HBO's long-awaited Deadwood movie will explore what happened 10 years after the events of HBO's award-winning drama, giving the series a finale 13 years after the show was canceled.
Movies & TV

Apple’s next big event is set for March 25: Here’s what you can expect

Apple's next big event takes place on March 25 in Cupertino, California. The company is expected to make several announcements related to its services, including Apple TV, so follow our guide to get ready for the big event.
Podcasts

Stranger Things 3 trailer, Deadwood movie, Bill and Ted return

On this week's show, we've got a ton of new trailers to discuss, from HBO's Deadwood revival to the first look at Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. We'll also discuss Netflix's interactive TV show starring Bear Grylls and more!
Movies & TV

Here are all the TV shows and movies we expect to see at Apple’s March 25 event

Apple has an ambitious slate of original programming it has been developing in recent years, so will the March 25 event finally reveal when — and where — we will be able to see some of these TV shows and movies?