MoviePass will limit everyone to 3 movies a month

MoviePass is about to get a lot less appealing, with changes later in August that will limit every subscriber to just three movies per month. The troubled movie subscription service had previously promised its users they could watch a movie every day, but cashflow headaches and other issues have gradually soured the deal.

As that process has gone on, MoviePass has implemented – and sometimes subsequently removed – a number of policies in an attempt to cut its losses. Late last month, for example, the service announced it would hike prices from $9.95 per month to $14.95 instead. That change would also come with a limit on new releases, with a two week block on getting tickets to a freshly-screened movie.

At the same time, extra fees were expanded for more popular films, with peak pricing surcharges for in-demand titles. At one point, subscribers were told they simply couldn't have tickets for Mission: Impossible – Fallout, after the company ran out of cash and had to secure a last-minute – and since paid-off – loan.

Now, many of those changes are being rolled back, though MoviePass isn't returning to its "good old days." In an interview with the WSJ, CEO Mitch Lowe confirmed that the price will remain at $9.95 per month, and that there will be no two week moratorium on new releases. Peak pricing surcharges are also being rolled back, and the frustrating requirement for subscribers to send a photo of their purchased tickets to MoviePass will be ended.

That's good news, but there's a big sting in the tail. Only three films per month will be included in the $9.95 subscription, something MoviePass has until now had a second, cheaper, $7.95 per month plan for. Those who see more than three movies per month will get a discount if they purchase via the MoviePass app, which could be anything from $2 to $5 per ticket, Lowe says.

According to the chief exec, most MoviePass users won't actually be impacted by the new policies, which go into effect on August 15. Of its current subscribers, 85-percent see three or fewer movies per month, Lowe claims, blaming rising costs of tickets – for which MoviePass pays full price to theaters – and impatient investors for the recent turbulence.

That still leaves around 15-percent of heavier users, which MoviePass now risks losing. A particular threat, Lowe concedes, is AMC's recently-announced subscription plan. Although limited to only that one chain of theaters, it offers more movies every month: three per week, for $19.95/mo.