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Sinemia takes aim at MoviePass again, with new $9.99 plan

Sinemia continues its campaign to take advantage of MoviePass’ high-profile struggles and win over the better-known movie ticket subscription service’s customers. Today, it announced a new plan priced at $9.99 per month. MoviePass, after all, recently announced that it would be keeping its monthly subscription price at $9.95 , but limiting subscribers to three movies per month (with discounts on additional tickets). The new Sinemia tier also includes three tickets each month, but it has the additional benefit of allowing subscribers to buy tickets for any 2D, non-IMAX screen, and to buy those tickets in advance. MoviePass, in contrast, is rotating the available movies each day, and it requires subscribers to buy their tickets at the theater, on the same day as the screening. Just a couple weeks ago, Sinemia announced a refer-a-friend program that rewards subscribers who convince their friends to leave other subscription services. The company makes no secret of the fact that it’s targeting MoviePass in particular — in today’s announcement, it describes the new plan as one that “matches MoviePass’ latest.” Sinemia offers a variety of other options, ranging from $3.99 per month for one ticket, to $14.99 for three tickets, with IMAX and 3D access.

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The filmmakers behind ‘Searching’ know why you’re skeptical about computer screen movies

If you’re not sure about watching a whole movie where your point-of-view is limited to computer and smartphone screens, you’re not alone — “Searching” filmmakers Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian told me they had very similar reservations. Chaganty said that when the pair was first approached by Timur Bekmambetov’s Bazelevs (the production company behind the “Unfriended” movies), the idea was to contribute a segment to an anthology of short films set on computer screens. That’s when they came up with the basic plot of “Searching” — after a teenaged girl goes missing, her father (played by John Cho) goes through the laptop she left behind in an effort to find her. But then the studio proposed turning the idea into a feature film, with Chaganty directing, Ohanian producing and the two of them writing the screenplay. “It was this incredible moment where no filmmaker ever gets this opportunity,” Chaganty recalled. “But in that instant, I said no.” It seemed to him that they’d come up with a way to make the format more than a gimmick —but as a short film. He worried that extending it into a feature might “stretch it right back into a 90-minute gimmick.” Chaganty and Ohanian kept talking about the idea, though, and ultimately moved forward after coming up with an opening sequence — which is indeed the opening sequence of the finished film. It’s a seven-minute montage of footage stored on a desktop computer, which doubles as a compressed (and surprisingly emotional) history of the Kim family. “In that moment, there was a click, there was a lightbulb that went off, where we realized the potential of this format with this story,” Chaganty said. “And we realized, despite the films that had existed before, there was a way to make this feel not only new … but also for once emotional, engaging, cinematic.” “Searching” is in limited release this weekend, before opening more widely on Friday, August 31.

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The Morning After: Your weekend edition

Hey, good morning! Welcome to your weekend. This week included our full review of Samsung's new Galaxy Note 9, Google's opaque location tracking and just a lot of bad news for MoviePass. Elon Musk also talked about his tough year heading up Tesla an...

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