How to woo millennials to the movies? "Netflix for cinemas" may do trick

MoviePass CEO
MoviePass CEO 06:23

America's movie attendance has dropped 16 percent since 2002, but MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe hopes the company's new service for moviegoers will give that a jolt.

One of the founders of Netflix, Lowe brought along the successful subscription model when he recently joined MoviePass as CEO.

MoviePass is offering a monthly subscription to catch unlimited theater showings for $39.99. Five to seven days after signup, users receive a debit card, which can be used to pick up movie tickets at the theater. Users can browse theaters and show times on the MoviePass smartphone app.

The MoviePass service is accepted at more than 34,000 screens, accounting for 90 percent of theaters across the United States. It also offers tiered pricing that can lower the cost to less than $15 a month, depending on how many movies a customer typically sees in a month.

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"With the steady stream and not having to keep acquiring customers, you can offer a lot of benefits that you couldn't do," Lowe said. "With MoviePass, we're able to give you invitations to private screenings and other kinds of benefits that connect you to Hollywood and so we're trying to... reinvigorate the movie-going audience."

While the numbers indicate a decline in movie attendance, Lowe asserted that is it actually not as stark as it seems. In fact, 100 million more tickets were sold last year than 20 years ago. Lowe said the decline appears more serious because some 15 percent of moviegoers have moved to 3D and IMAX.

A study by AMC found MoviePass customers go to the theaters twice as often as they did previously. Lowe said the service is geared towards millennials.

"That's the group that has started to not go to the movies as often, and they're comfortable with subscription," Lowe explained on "CBS This Morning" Wednesday. "They've gotten into this world where they don't want to make individual choices based on whether they think the film is good or not. So subscription allows them to see films."