MoviePass peak pricing launches: Here's the bad news

It was just a few weeks ago that MoviePass announced a new "peak pricing" fee. It seems that the company wants to get the ball rolling on that extra fee, as it's launching starting today. With peak pricing in effect, subscribers will pay more to see big movies at popular times, such as Friday evenings or on opening weekends.

Engadget reports that peak pricing is going live today, though some users won't be subject to that fee right away. An FAQ on the MoviePass site sheds more light on peak pricing, what it means, and who will need to pay extra fees. If you're in the middle of an annual subscription, you won't have to pay peak pricing fees until after you renew. Monthly subscribers and new annual subscribers, however, will be subject to these fees moving forward.

When MoviePass announced this new fee last month, it said that peak pricing fees would start at $2 and go up from there. The FAQ doesn't really get more specific than that, simply saying that peak prices are "dynamic based on a given film or showtime's popularity." There will be no escaping it either, as MoviePass is implementing this at all of theaters its service is compatible with.

The goal here is twofold. First, MoviePass wants to encourage users to see more weekday showings, which help its theater partners. It's also looking for a way to make more money after facing significant backlash for trying to end its unlimited plan earlier in the year. In fact, MoviePass straight up says that peak pricing is being implemented "to ensure we can continue offering our low monthly rate for a movie a day."

MoviePass says that each subscriber will soon have the ability to waive one peak pricing fee per month. The app will also let users know which showtimes are approaching peak pricing periods before they leave their houses, which should cut back on surprises at the ticket counter.

MoviePass certainly needs to tread carefully here, as a number of competitors have started cropping up. Some of them, like AMC, offer subscription plans that cost more than MoviePass does, but also have more flexibility in terms of showtimes and formats. We'll see if this sparks any kind of push back among MoviePass users, so stay tuned.