Wednesday, August 1, 2018

MOVIE PASS

MOVIE PASS

So here's the thing if you didn't know that this shit existed. Movie Pass is a business model that somehow I still can't for the life of me understand how it could have ever gone passed the original stages of a thought and into existence as it literally makes no sense on how it would work.

You pay a monthly fee and are then able to go see a movie a day, the company pays the movie theater and I'm still not sure how the fuck there was any sort of profits involved in any of that and was the lamest excuse to collect and attempt to sell your data they mind out of the choices you made in which movies you went to see? I have no idea, to be perfectly honest. the whole thing sounded like a pyramid scheme and I think most people forgot about the pass. Which, I guess is a good thing since if more people had bought it, the company would have lost even more money.
The subscriber count hit 3 million on June 13, but the stock lost nearly all its value in the wake of AMC’s launch on June 20 of a discount pricing program, allowing customers to see three movies a week for a $19.95 monthly fee. AMC Theatres, the world’s largest exhibitor, has been disparaging the popular subscription service as a house of cards for nearly a year as “unsustainable” because MoviePass pays exhibitors the full price of the tickets that it’s subscribers use.
You actually saved them a lot of money by not buying their product.

Gee, I was thinking how cool it would be to have a fast food pass. $10 a month for unlimited food at all fast food chains. I mean, it seems like a pretty viable business to me. I feel like, you know, sure, you'll have some folks go every day, but the majority of folks will go maybe once a month.

Yes, this is basically a company using movies in the same model as gyms, in which they make their money from the people who sign up and don't go after the first couple of months, but just have enough guilt to not outright quit because that would be admitting defeat. It really is an amazing strategy.  A better one would have been that you pay more for the ticket, but in doing so, you discourage poor, fat heavy breathers, teenagers who can't put down their cell phones and loud children from attending the screening and ruining your experience.

Let's also be clear, the movie going experience has changed a lot in the last decade. I man, they really had to step up their game to figure out how to attract people back to shitty movie theaters.  There's a lot of new movie theaters were you can order food and eat it while watching the film. Alamo Draft House comes to mind as one location when I went to Austin and saw Hateful 8. They had themed food menu and specialty cocktails. I mean, yeah, I was a sucker for it even though the sad reality is that ordering a boat load off booze during a two or even three hour film that you can't pause to piss in just comes across as poor planning on my part.

Anyhow, back to MoviePass' upcoming demise, it's comical that the company literally ran out of money to keep buying the tickets for the users of this awful excuse for a company and instituted a 1-to 250 reverse stock split, which completely fucked it over. Because clearly, adding another middle man to the whole system always makes thing cheaper in the long run. Yes, that had to be the business mindset there.... Or, you know, they were just hoping to just take a loss for a small amount of time before they then sold customer movie habits to advertisers to bring in the revenue. I mean, it was never really going to happen like that - but I think that was the goal.

Look, was it a solid solution to a problem that cinemas are having? Yes. they have too many empty seats and less ticket sales meant less concession sales. MoviePass's idea was to fill those vacant seats with the weight to throw around that we bring people to you to buy popcorn and over priced other bullshit, we strike up a deal, right?  Mistakes were clearly made. In that MoviePass was poorly run and just totally lost in making any sort of headway in negotiating with the major cinema companies. It didn't help that the executives of MoviePass were complete assholes and arrogantly assumed they had a hit company with sway before they actually did. 

The Cinema companies now are also dumb as brick s because they're all going to try and release their own version of MoviePass and completely miss the mark on what made it so good in the first place - something that you can't really sustain no matter what format you use unless it's entirely unappealing the the consumers. 
If you're in for a good laugh, just google HMNY's stock price and see what happened to it in the past two weeks. Over the weekend the CEO put out another call for help in saying that they hoped the shitshow lasted until Monday so they could cash out. with the idea that they'll disable movies people actually want to see.

I read somewhere that movie popcorn pound per pound is the most expensive food on the market. A lot of theaters offer more food options now to appeal people to come to dinner and a movie in one location. So they offer stuff like Poutine for $7, which is roughly the same as a fast food place will offer or even a fine dining establishment. The same with nachos, they are about the same price everywhere. But popcorn on the other hand is constantly marked up 50,000%  I just don't even bother ever getting popcorn.

A bigger issue that they need to tackle, which is only going to get worse, is the fact that with so many other alternatives to going to the theater, you can simply wait 4 months and watch the same product in the comfort of your own home when it comes out on streaming and on-demand. What is the point of bothering with overpriced tickets, annoying folks and overpriced fucking popcorn? And movie studios are only going to squeeze theaters into running their films for longer periods of times even though they are releasing them on home video constantly.

The lesson here is that you can't expect to get so huge that you can dictate terms to a movie theater. Only movie studios can do that, like Disney is about to with the ownership of 20th Century Fox. So you have to throw away this method for becoming huge in which you light a giant pile of money on fire. Even more comical is the fact that I take away the notion the only 3 million people in the US want to go to a movie theater more than once a month, even if you give it to them for free

But perhaps that is the real lesson in all this. And in a strange way, the bit of irony that goes along with it. Capitalists have squeezed so much money out of the bottom 90% of the country, that they literally don't know what to do next. This has created a scenario where one of the few ways people not born into wealth can try to get ahead is by trying to con a bunch of baby boomers into forking over a billion dollars by shouting business jargon at them with these new ways of making them even more billions.

This is what venture capitalism is and it has given us people reinventing the city bus, the $500 jucier that squeezed juice from a bag slower than your hands and now we got MoviePass out of this. I guess when I look at it in a way as fucking over Boomers who want to get rich quick off the money they basically stole the next generation's ability to earn it.. MoviePass wasn't so bad.  Many people got to enjoy a lot of free movies over the last year. Some shareholders really lost their fortunes on investing in this clearly dumbshit idea. And over all, while I don't think the gym model works for movie theaters and Disney will kill theater chains in itself, at least we all watch the world burn in 3-D IMAX quality.

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