Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Future of Movies?

     The Wired Blog announced in late June that a “MoviePass” was in the works. The “MoviePass" was the concept of offering a movie theater subscription program. Recently, the Tribeca Film Festival blog discussed how large theatre chains were interested in participating. It seemed to be in the stages of moving forward until AMC Theatres jumped the boat. This pulled the plug indefinitely.  It was Netflix for the movies! Instead of paying $13.50 (NOT including IMAX or 3-D) for each movie, the theater would either have a monthly or yearly annual fee to view movies.

    Truthfully, when I heard the actual price of the pass, I became hesitant.  The pass would’ve been $50 per month which comes out to $600 per year. OUCH! I don’t think you’re average American would put down this kind of moola. However, the fee works in favor of the customer. Let’s say you see five in one month, it would be $10 per movie. If you watched without the plan, five films would be $13.50 each with a total of $67.50.

     Now, how do we feel about this? Is this a lost opportunity? I like the idea of going an unlimited amount of times for a special fee. Now, this all depends if you are a frequent visitor to the theatres. You may be a rare moviegoer unlike me who has literally has seen the inside of a Regal or AMC more times than my own apartment.  So, what about seeing movies at home? Discussions between studios and theatres have gone on for years about bringing new release films to the comfort of your home. I’m sad to say that the bickering of fees and negotiations have prevented this from ever happening. But could this idea work instead?

     Speaking of home video,  don’t even get me started on the new Netflix service plans! September 1st begins the new plans for Netflix members. DVD holders and Instant Streaming viewers will now pay separately for each service. I no longer have the option of both viewing methods. My current One-At-A-Time Unlimited DVD $8 plan will become $16. Unhappy people have rebelled and a reported TWO MILLION customers have cancelled their accounts. I understand that it is expensive to stream movies but I just can’t make a decision on which to choose. DVD or Instant Streaming. This is like Sophie’s Choice! I can’t choose between my children! I’m delaying the process by waiting until August 31st at 11:59 p.m. to choose a new plan. Movie ticket prices continue to rise and it seems other Netflix alternative are limited in their collection. Even with news that Walmart has started streaming films, I feel like we can’t catch a break. The assortment is "limited" (20,000 films doesn’t really include new releases).  All I can say is: Thank God for AMC’S $6 movies before noon on Friday/Saturday/Sundays; otherwise, I’d be doing “double features.”

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