Disruptors are everywhere, of course. It’s an exciting time, really.
This past weekend, I rented an quaint little two-bedroom house in Boise. It came with a beautiful backyard and a full kitchen — for $70 a night, or considerably less than renting two bedrooms (no backyard or kitchen) from even the cheapest motel.
When I traveled in Portland and Austin and Nashville last year, I took Lyft everywhere — for about half the cost of a taxi or renting a car.
I’ve had a MoviePass since October 2017. For $9.95 a month, I can see a movie every single day. I generally go once a week, which makes my tickets cost roughly $2.50 instead of $10.25 each.
Articles keep popping up about how MoviePass is unsustainable and won’t last the summer. And it might be true. Maybe.
I also kind of think that either they’re going to figure out a way to keep going or someone else is going to step in with a similar program.
Because the movie-going experience has already been disrupted.
I was already going to a movie a week — prior to MoviePass. I’m a movie buff. Four movies a month, for two adults, cost $82. Add in popcorn and drinks, or dinner before hand, and we were spending maybe $160 a month on movie dates.
When I was conditioned to spend $20 on two tickets and another $20 on food — I didn’t think that much about it. It’s just what the experience cost and I liked the experience.
Only now? The experience costs at least $60 less. Plus I can do things like watch a movie I might not otherwise spend money on at other times during the month.
I don’t know that I’ll choose to continue my movie-going habits as they were, if MoviePass goes under. I’ll still go to some movies. Event movies that I really want to see on a big screen.
I probably won’t buy concessions.
And I won’t go to as many movies as I have been. Even though I was spending $150 a month on movies before, my habit’s been disrupted and I’m not sure I’ll decide it’s worth going back to that.
In fact, I’m pretty sure I won’t. Not when I have a mircowave and Netflix at home.
My town has Cinemark theaters. I’ve noticed they’ve already started trying to stem the tide of disruption. They’ve instituted their own subscription service ($8.99 a month for one ticket and 20% off concessions.) Then they lowered movie prices from $10.25 to $9.00 during prime time and made all matinees $5, instead of $7.50.
Movie theaters are going to feel the pinch if MoviePass goes away. It’s going to be interesting to see if they decide to bite the bullet and work with the disruptor to keep it afloat with a cut of concessions or discounted tickets. Or if they’ll go the way of Blockbuster.
Shaunta Grimes is a writer and teacher. She lives in Reno with her husband, three superstar kids, and a yellow rescue dog named Maybelline Scout. She’s on Twitter @shauntagrimes, is the author of Viral Nation and Rebel Nation and the upcoming middle-grade novel The Astonishing Maybe and is the original Ninja Writer.
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