Review by Robert Horton for Seattle Weekly
Until last weekend, I had a pretty simple opinion of MoviePass. It was obviously insane.
The service, which has been hemorrhaging money for months, sounded way too easy: For a low fee, you sign up and see a huge number of movies at participating theaters. How can this be good for theaters or distributors? How can it be good for MoviePass? Of course it works out nicely for frequent moviegoers, but the business model seems completely unsustainable, an example of the Amazonian lose-money-before-we-make-money philosophy gone mad.
The profit-making plan still eludes me, but something interesting happened a few days ago. The indie film American Animals—acquired at Sundance in a shared deal by distributor The Orchard and MoviePass (not heretofore a distributor)—scored fabulous box-office returns at four theaters in L.A. and New York.