MoviePass, the struggling movie subscription service, will limit customers to three movies per month.
The company is trying to burn less cash so it can stay in business.
Under the previous plan, customers could see one movie per day in theaters. The change to three movies per month takes effect August 15. MoviePass says 85% of its customers already see no more than three per month.
The company also announced Monday that it will keep the monthly subscription price at $9.99. It is backing away from a plan, announced just last week, to raise the price to $14.99.
MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe described the change in an interview earlier Monday with The Wall Street Journal.
The stock of MoviePass’s parent company, Helios and Matheson, closed last Friday at just 7 cents.
MoviePass has shown that many moviegoers will make time to hit theaters when movies are affordable, despite more convenient options such as Netflix and video on demand. At some theaters, it has been common to see long lines with people holding red MoviePass cards, which subscribers can use to charge a movie to the service.
MoviePass has grown to 3 million subscribers, from about 20,000, since it slashed monthly rates nearly a year ago to $10, from as high as $50.
But that success has proven costly. Because MoviePass typically pays theaters the full cost of tickets — $15 or more in big cities — a single movie can put the service in the red. Its parent company recently had to take out a $5 million emergency loan to pay its payment processors after missed payments resulted in service outages.
Though MoviePass says it’s not raising prices to $15, there’s still a hidden price increase. The company already has a three-movie plan for $8 a month. Now, it will be $10.
MoviePass is also rescinding other cost-cutting measures, including surcharges for popular movies and showtimes and requirements to send photographs of ticket stubs to combat fraud.
MoviePass says the new cap will affect only about 15 percent of subscribers — those who now watch four or more movies a month.
The new caps take effect Aug. 15, though those with annual subscriptions won’t be affected until their renewal date.