Add to that the fact that most people don't actually go to the movies more than once a month, and MoviePass's model doesn't seem as crazy, especially for theaters themselves; when the result is more foot traffic to the theaters, it makes Lowe's assertion that the most vocal theater chain opponent, AMC, will "come around" sound like a smart bet. Over the course of a month, Lowe says that MoviePass subscribers spent $11 million on AMC concessions alone, so when the alternative is empty seats and fewer add-on sales, MoviePass's demands to receive bulk orders of tickets at reduced prices (another aspect of its long-term business sustainability model) starts becoming more appealing to chain theaters.
While all of this may combine to make MoviePass's pricing more comprehensible from a business perspective, Silicon Valley disruption math is at play when you look at the bigger picture. There's an implicit, additional cost to the 10 bucks you shell out each month: access to your location and viewing habits. You pay to give away your personal location in exchange for cheap tickets, and you don't really know all the ways that data will be used. Consider the fact that the majority owner of MoviePass is Helios & Matheson, a self-described "Big Data company that helps global enterprises make informed decisions by providing insights into social phenomena." Those enterprises are in business sectors that touch virtually every part of your life, including health care, finance, education, and retail. It's no surprise, in that light, that Lowe occasionally compares MoviePass to insurance; the high-volume users lose money for the company, but everyone else helps them make it back. What's less clear, however, is how MoviePass's data collection fits into Helios & Matheson's product offerings, which includes a real-time crime mapper called RedZone (especially disconcerting when one of the buzz-phrases on the company's site is "predictive analytics practice").
It's creepy, sure, but obtaining at least some of your personal information is what virtually every other app requires in its terms and conditions. If you have a smartphone, you can be tracked, and most consumers are aware -- whether they actively think about it or not -- that they're trading less privacy for the convenience of a do-everything device on them at all times. MoviePass may know when and where you're going to see Black Panther, what you eat afterward, and when you go home, but betting on a subscriber revolt would likely make you look foolish, since data collection hasn't exactly slowed down the likes of Google or Facebook. Few will acknowledge it, but the value judgment we've collectively made is that invasion of privacy is no longer a detriment, but an attractive feature of contemporary life.