R.I.P. MoviePass: Subscription service to officially shut down
MoviePass, the monthly subscription service that once allowed moviegoers to see one film a day for a discounted rate, will officially shut down starting Saturday, Sep. 14. It was 8 years old.
On Friday, MoviePass announced to its subscribers that it would be “interrupting the MoviePass service for all its subscribers effective Sep. 14, 2019, because its efforts to recapitalize MoviePass have not been successful to date,” according to a press release.
As the statement continues, parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc. “is unable to predict if or when the MoviePass service will continue,” but is continuing “efforts to seek financing to fund its operations.” HMNY’s board of directors assembled “a strategic review committee” to look over a “strategic and financial alternatives,” after which the committee found “no assurance that any such financing will be obtained or available” on their terms for MoviePass.
This development brings the long, twisty journey of MoviePass to a close. Perhaps there are some who didn’t even realize there was life left in it.
After an initial beta launch in 2011, the service became complicated in the past few years, starting when it abruptly shut off users’ access to 10 large AMC movie theaters across major cities. According to reports, MoviePass sought reduced ticket pricing from theater chains, which AMC did not want to accommodate. The service returned shortly thereafter, but the drama continued.
More recently, the service shut down this past July for “several weeks” to update the app, though a return plan had not been addressed at the time. By August, TechCrunch published a report stating the service exposed thousands of customer credit card numbers.
“We still deeply believe in the need for the MoviePass service in the marketplace, to maintain affordable access to theaters and provide movie lovers with choices of where to go to the movies,” the company wrote in an email to subscribers on Friday. “In August 2017, MoviePass began a transformation of the moviegoing industry by introducing its low monthly price subscription service. Since then, others in the industry have followed our lead. Now, as a result of this transformation, movie lovers throughout the United States have the ability to see movies in theaters using subscription services at prices they can actually afford, albeit with limited choices of theaters using those services. In the course of this industry transformation, MoviePass has experienced setbacks and challenges that are well known. Nevertheless, MoviePass remained committed to leading and competing in an industry that is resistant to outside competition and change. We believe that fostering competition and change in the moviegoing industry is critical to the satisfaction of the moviegoing public and filmmakers alike.”