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MoviePass responds to AMC w/ premium showings, bring-a-friend, and…surge pricing?

Just yesterday, we wrote about AMC’s new movie subscription plan that gives you 3 movies a week of any showing for $20 per month. In lieu of that, MoviePass has made a slew of its own announcements, some good, some not so good.

MoviePass is kind of the original around here when it comes to movie theater subscription services, though the company has taken a lot of backlash in recent months due to policy and offering change. Now MoviePass is at it again, this time with three large changes that are set to happen before summer ends.

Business Insider spoke to MoviePass on the topic, and the company laid out all three upcoming features and policy changes.

Up first is a style of surge pricing. MoviePass said that there will be an added charge of $2 to titles that the company deems very popular with MoviePass subscribers, opening weekends, or other similar situations.

This means that you might not be seeing “free” movies on opening weekend anymore, which was one of the major perks of MoviePass.

I have used my MoviePass several times to see a movie on a Saturday or Monday of the opening weekend, but if I have to pay extra for it, I might as well see a higher-tiered showing.

Sure it’s $2, but that was the entire purpose of MoviePass, to see movies without paying in the first place. MoviePass did tell Business Insider that annual members likely won’t have to face this $2 upcharge, but that only goes to show that the monthly cost still isn’t as good as it used to be.

This comes after MoviePass limited the amount of times you can see a specific movie, another likely tactic to try and save the company money and keep it from going under.

There are two other features coming, however, that many people might rejoice over. Bring-a-friend is one such addition that has been talked about for months, but was finally detailed in a more official fashion.

This portion of the program will allow you to get an extra seat next to you at participating theaters if a buddy should join you for your movie going pleasure. The sad news? MoviePass said it’ll likely be near the full retail price of a normal ticket, with no discounts attached.

The last feature that MoviePass talked about was the ability to upgrade to a premium showing. One big drawback, to me, was that I couldn’t go see a Dolby showing with MoviePass. That’s how I consume most movies, at least the first time around, and I just couldn’t use MoviePass for it until this announcement.

It’s said that this will cost from $2 to $6 for IMAX/3D showings, but that’s a small price to pay considering a normal ticket is $15 for Dolby at my AMC.

Eventually, you’ll be able to use these two features together (bring-a-friend and premium showings), though it won’t work that way out of the box.

In my opinion, AMC’s offering from yesterday is still more enticing as it allows you to see three movies per week of any showing for $20/mo. If MoviePass charges on average of $5 for each upcharged movie, seeing three per week would be an additional $10 on top of your $10/mo MoviePass subscription, pushing you over AMC’s pricing.

These features are slated to roll out by August, with the surge pricing coming sometime in July.

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