According to reports, MoviePass prevents some of its subscribers from buying tickets for Jennifer Lawrence's new action movie, apparently as part of a negotiation strategy with the film industry. In this case, MoviePass users on Twitter have reported problems trying to see Red Sparrow, which has gone black in the MoviePass mobile application in some markets with a message that says: "MoviePass does not support this movie."
"Occasionally, we remove some movies from our ticketing inventory in some markets for a limited time, similar to how we organically promote movies in certain markets to better understand the behavior of members," MoviePass told Slashfilm in a statement. . "As part of these ongoing tests, we've stepped up our efforts to remind members to always double-check the MoviePass app to confirm that their preferred shows and theaters are available for the movie they plan to watch before going to the theater."
So, what is really happening here? Without the full disclosure of MoviePass, which has remained relatively limited in its ongoing conversations with film chains and film studios, we can only speculate. But it seems that MoviePass, which is building its own advertising business, may be playing another tough ball game with the movie distribution and production companies responsible for marketing spending.
MoviePass seems to reuse its user base as currency
MoviePass in the past has connected movies like I, Tonya and, this week, Death Wish, by means of email blasts and location in the application. The application does not seem to be announcing Red Sparrow, so the "proof" that MoviePass says it is doing may be to see if it can direct viewers to another performance by hiding the movie that their own customers really want to see.
As my colleague Bryan Bishop wrote last month, MoviePass has been "tremendously misleading" in the past, making incorrect strategic use of facts and figures about the amount of revenue its users manage. It does this to increase the animosity among its users against traditional film and theater companies, and to promote its leverage in Hollywood. In January, the company also obtained support for a small number of AMC rooms, which generated protests from affected users.
In that case, MoviePass was trying to use its considerable user base – more than 1 million subscribers as of December of last year – as leverage, taking customers away from AMC locations because the chain is not interested in Share proceeds from the sale of tickets or concessions with MoviePass. The company already has agreements with many independent theaters, which undoubtedly are most in need of the kind of assistance increase that MoviePass can provide, up to 3% of ticket sales and 25% of concessions, reports Deadline.
In the case of the Red Sparrow blackout, it seems that MoviePass is doing whatever it takes to make the films that cut the promotional offers see better participation, even if that means damaging its own subscribers in the process. It's hard to understand how these types of tactics align with statements such as: "From day one, MoviePass has been 100 percent for our subscribers," said Ted Farnsworth, CEO of MoviePass, parent company Helios &, in a press release. Matheson. month.
It is not inconceivable to imagine a future in which MoviePass requires a studio to pay for the promotion, or runs the risk of being totally out of the application. That does not mean that this is happening now, or what will happen in that case. But it seems that MoviePass is collecting information about many hyperspecific situations that are useful only if you are fighting an entrenched business in your own territory. In the end, it is MoviePass customers who are bearing the brunt.