Imagine a full year of getting to watch unlimited movies – in theaters.

We’re talking brand new releases, even on premiere nights.

That’s what MoviePass is offering as a last minute Father’s Day gift in an email we got from them today.

MoviePass is actually a very interesting service. When you sign up, you get a prepaid MasterCard credit card.

When you want to watch a movie, you go to the theater, sign in to the MoviePass app with your smartphone, select the movie, and MoviePass adds funds to the card for paying for the movie.

The funds are added within seconds. I often go to the ticket booth with the app already open, check that there are seats available, and click on the movie I want to see as I give the card to the cashier. It’s never failed me.

There are some limits though. The MoviePass card can only be used once every 24 hours. It can not be used to watch the same show twice. And it can only be applied to regular 2D movies, not  3D, or IMAX shows.

A MoviePass gift membership costs $400 for a full year. A 6 month membership is available for $225. A 3 month membership is $125.

The pricing for gift memberships is a bit odd though.

Paid monthly, a regular annual membership to MoviePass is $30/month. Smart shoppers can also occasionally find it on sale for $24/month. Note that the regular membership is an annual membership – it’s just that payments are monthly over 12 months. There are fines for early cancellations.

Doing the math here… it costs more to buy a full year up front ($400) than it does to pay monthly (total for a full year: $360).

Asked why this is the case, MoviePass support said “Gift memberships are more expensive than standard MoviePass memberships because they are not enrolled in a one year contract.”

When we pointed out that’s because the full year is paid up front, no 12 month payment contract is necessary. They said “The gift membership is slightly more expensive because you do not have to worry about early termination fees or anything of the sort.”  That’s true… but since it’s paid up front, they don’t have to worry about early terminations either.

If you have $400 in the budget for a Father’s Day gift, I can speak from experience that having a MoviePass is a lot of fun.

From a consumer standpoint though – the year long MoviePass gift membership seems somewhat overpriced.

It should cost the same, or even slightly LESS, than paying monthly. The 3 and 6 month MoviePasses I can see costing more, since they are short term. But it shouldn’t cost more to pay for a year up front, than it does to pay monthly for 12 months.

Have you bought a MoviePass?

Would you recommend it as a Father’s Day Gift?

Leave your comments below!