Dear MoviePass Member,
I’ve written you many letters before, but this time is different. This isn’t about American Animals. This isn’t about Three Identical Strangers—still in theaters. And this isn’t about your account being past due…it’s about our account being past due.
I fear we’ve reached our final act and I must break up with you.
What started as a whirlwind romance, filled with unlimited possibilities and showings, has devolved into a web of lies, deceit, and surge pricing.
When we met, we couldn’t keep our hands off each other. We’d see each other once a day, every single day. Sometimes we’d see the same movie over and over and over again, trying out different seats and different positions and different theaters. You once suggested entering through the backdoor to spice things up.
“What for?” I said. “The front has endless possibilities; the front is free.” So that’s what we did…continued to enjoy free love.
We experienced things that we’d never experienced before—like seeing Paddington 2 without ever having seen the prequel; we even saw a Tyler Perry movie. And surprise! We loved them both. You were my boo and I was your Boo 2! For the very first time in our lives, we were truly uninhibited, free of judgment or the fear of wasting $18 on a terrible film.
Things could not be better. After only a month of dating, I asked you for a commitment. Move in with me for a year. I figured it would save you money on your monthly rent and we were already seeing each other every day anyway…what could go wrong?
At first nothing. We were like rabbits. We must’ve seen Black Panther in every single theater at the AMC Empire 25; we made a huge mess in Theater 14, but that wasn’t our problem…it was for the usher to clean up.
When we wanted to get kinky, we’d try the Metrograph for an indie. We’d laugh at all the so-called “cinephiles” that refused to recognize our love like it was somehow less pure because it was unconventional.
We dreamed of the day that we could see a movie together at the Arclight in Los Angeles. “We’ll make it there before the Mamma Mia sequel is out,” we’d fantasize.
But the Arclight never took a shot on us. And soon we’d be singing, “here we go again” over and over and over and over.
In due time, even our oldest friends, like AMC, started to turn on us. It was jealousy. They wanted what we had. They eventually agreed they were being silly. But unfortunately things never went back to normal for us. It was only the beginning of our horror film…our intimacy morphed into A Quiet Place.
The first signs of turmoil came when I said I was sick of seeing the same movie more than once; I made a rule: we always had to try something new. “What’s so wrong with Black Panther?” you asked. “It’s familiar; it’s intimate.”
I wish I could have gone back and done things different, but I couldn’t. Just like Wakanda, we had changed. We tried to pretend that everything was ok, but we knew it was only a matter of time.
I sought outside help. I consulted friends. I even consulted an ex: Netflix. I thought if I could just fix myself, I could fix us. Everyone had an opinion: cut down on how many times we see each other; don’t hang out on weekends or nights; make your own movies. But you deserve so much more than American Animals.
And I deserve all the blame. I promised you too much. Those kinds of promises could create resentment even in the most rock solid of pay-as-you-go subscription service relationships. We should have started slow. A couple movies a month, then work our way up to a double feature…one day a festival. Instead, I started you at the happy ending; but a happy ending means nothing without a solid Act One as its foundation.
See when you keep taking away, you eventually have nothing left to give. And I refuse to ghost on you like your past relationships with Blockbuster and Hollywood Video.
But you also deserve more than 3 times a month. And at this point in my life, unfortunately, that’s all I can offer you. I need to work on myself, even if that comes at the expense of you.
We’re approaching our 1-year anniversary, which is always a good time for reflection—it also means our 1-year commitment is almost up—and I urge you not to stay for the after-credit extras.
The truth is, disruption and innovation require staying flexible and having an open mind; but you shouldn’t be anyone’s rough draft.
So let’s not call this goodbye; let’s just say we’re waiting for our remake.