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Ticket prices too high? MoviePass gets you into theaters for $10 a month

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If you haven’t been seeing movies in theaters as much as you used to, you’re not alone. The American movie industry is in a rut, with summer box office revenue down 11 percent from 2016. There are a number of purported causes, such as sequel fatigue, or the growing popularity of streaming services among millennials. But even if audiences are currently fed up with the movie industry, a company called MoviePass is betting it can get them back in the seats, offering a movie a day for only $10 per month.

Founded in 2011, MoviePass is a subscription service that allows users to see movies in theaters (one movie per day) without buying a ticket each time. Instead, the company pays for your ticket when you swipe your MoviePass card.

If it sounds crazy that a company could afford to let users watch movies every day for only $10 a month, it’s not. The idea was similar to insurance: Not every user will actually see $10 worth of movies a month, so they end up subsidizing the users who do.

We talked to MoviePass co-founder Stacy Spikes when the service was young (and when its price was $30 per month), and Spikes explained that the service targeted film buffs. “50 percent of all ticket sales are sold to 10 percent of moviegoers … It’s the coveted group that everybody wants to have and own. The right people are signing up. They’re the influencers, the first weekenders,” said Spikes.

Now, MoviePass may hit a wider target, dropping its subscription cost to just $10 a month. As before, users will be able to see one movie per day.

How exactly can the company afford to do this? To paraphrase a popular saying, if you’re not the customer, you’re the product. On Tuesday, MoviePass sold a majority stake in the company to a data analytics firm, Helios and Matheson. The acquisition will allow Helios and Matheson to collect data on its users’ viewing habits, according to Bloomberg.

The service will apparently be the same on the user’s end. We tried MoviePass years ago, and while there were some quirks that needed fixing, found it to be an affordable, convenient tool for avid moviegoers. And if you really don’t want to leave the house to see a movie, there’s always Netflix.

This article was originally posted on Digital Trends

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