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The MoviePass Comeback: Walmart Steps In to Revive the Subscription Service

In 2022, MoviePass, the once-popular movie subscription service that filed for bankruptcy in 2019, began its journey back from the dead. The company’s original founder, Stacy Spikes, regained control and started testing a tiered system, offering theater credits for $10, $20, or $30 per month. The new version of MoviePass was launched in September 2022 for a limited number of volunteers, with a widescale rollout planned for summer 2023.

A crucial part of MoviePass’s resurgence is a reported partnership with retail giant Walmart. Sources claim that Walmart will promote the subscription service through in-store displays and advertising materials, similar to its current promotion of the streaming service Netflix.

Although neither Walmart nor MoviePass has officially confirmed the partnership, it’s believed that Walmart is keen on supporting in-theater attendance through this collaboration.

The movie theater industry has faced significant challenges in recent years, with declining attendance exacerbated by pandemic-related closures. Over 2,000 theaters across the country closed permanently, and a survey found that 49% of pre-2020 moviegoers had stopped going to theaters entirely after the pandemic.

As theaters grapple with inflation and a looming recession in 2023, they must compete with streaming platforms that offer a wide array of entertainment at a lower cost. Industry analysts suggest that theaters should focus on premium effects and formats best suited for large screens or experiment with subscription models like MoviePass to provide a feeling of value for money. AMC has already been offering its Stubs A-List subscription service since 2018.

With Walmart’s backing, MoviePass may have the opportunity to help revitalize the theater industry by offering moviegoers a more affordable and flexible way to enjoy the cinema experience.