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How MoviePass Hopes to Survive

This long weekend, millions of Americans will go to the movies. Most will pay $9 or more for a ticket. A select few will use a movie theater ticket subscription that costs less than that a month, allowing them to see as many movies as they want. If that seems too good to be true, many in Hollywood agree.

These services, led by MoviePass, are gambling they can make money by charging movie studios for the ability to market to their subscribers. It’s a big bet, one that has made movie theaters unhappy—much as Netflix’s cut-price subscription upset the incumbents in television. But MoviePass already has signed up two million subscribers—and that was before it chopped its price last week to $7.95 a month.

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“The one thing that MoviePass has is they can track who is going to that movie.They can tell the studios, ‘We were able to deliver 10%, and the next time, we can do 20% if you make this kind of movie.’ It’s really a big experiment.”