I Loved MoviePass, but Now I Want to Cancel My Account

If you asked me this time a year ago whether I enjoyed watching movies, I would have said no. I would have said that it was almost always a waste of money, that we lived in the era of peak TV and I appreciated the character development over 12 hours of a show compared to a movie’s 90 minutes, and that I didn’t like to see violence on screen because it gave me nightmares.

Then I broke up with my boyfriend, moved to a much colder city, and MoviePass dropped its price to $9.95/month. Though I didn’t love movies, I decided MoviePass was a deal too great to pass up. I was nervous I’d be lonely in a new city without friends, that my seasonal depression would get worse, and that I’d become a hermit (which is what my psychic specifically told me not to do when I last saw her before I left Baltimore).

My MoviePass account started in November, and since then I’ve spent $319.01 on MoviePass, additional movies I saw without using the pass, snacks, and parking. It breaks down to $89.55, $2 parking, $61.39 on movies without MoviePass, and a whopping $166.07 on snacks (I’ve got a weakness for Coke Icees, but I didn’t realize it was that big of a weakness!).

For that $319.01, I’ve had 51 movie-going experiences, which averages to about $6/movie (or $40/month). Some movies I saw more than once. MoviePass used to have a policy that you could see movies as many times as you wanted to, so in Chicago’s cold winter, I saw Black Panther three times. I watched Avengers: Infinity War on my own after the policy changed, and then purchased an additional pair of tickets to be able to take my nephew. I went to see Jurassic World with a friend but was too high to remember to use my MoviePass, so then I went and saw it again for free on MoviePass to beat the heat. I wouldn’t have seen any of those movies without MoviePass.

In contrast, in the eight months before I had MoviePass, I spent a total of $156.41 at the movies for only nine movie experiences (often paying for my boyfriend’s ticket as well), which averages to about $17/movie or $20/month. Without MoviePass I was giving theaters $20/month; with MoviePass, I am giving them $30/month.

We’re now at a critical time in the MoviePass experience: they’ve changed the policy a number of times, and certain movies are no longer available. I’ve tried to go to the movies at least five times in the last couple weeks and either nothing was available or only the only showing available was Slender Man. All of my friends who had it have already canceled; I’m the last one holding on and I’m not sure how much longer I’ll hold on. I’m grateful it exposed me to movies I never would have seen otherwise (Thor: Ragnarok was way funnier than I expected! I am still playing The Greatest Showman soundtrack!), it got me out of the house, it was a critical component of my self-care in a stressful #metoo world — but if I cant use the pass, then I shouldn’t have the pass. It’s telling me right now that “there are no more screenings at this theater today” at my closest theater, when I know there are four more showings of eligible movies.

Should I delete my account? I keep thinking if I hold on another few weeks, they’ll tighten up these usability glitches — plus, once you cancel, you can’t re-join for another eight months. Or should I just dedicate $40 to my movie budget? Do any of you have MoviePass or have you all canceled? How many movies do you see per month? If you tried MoviePass, did it save you money or more than double your movie-going expenses? 

Megan lives in Chicago and should stop having movie nachos and coke icees for dinner. Her favorite movies of the last year were Call Me By Your Name, Phantom Thread, and Sorry to Bother You.

This story is part of The Billfold’s Experience Series.

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