MoviePass Is Shutting Down
It billed itself as “the future of moviegoing.” And now it is a thing of the past.
On Friday, the parent company of MoviePass, Helios and Matheson Analytics, announced it was “interrupting the MoviePass service for all its subscribers effective September 14, 2019,” claiming that “efforts to recapitalize MoviePass have not been successful to date.” They added “The Company is unable to predict if or when the MoviePass service will continue.” I’m not an expert in business administration, but that doesn’t sound good.
The last significant update on MoviePass, the subscription moviegoing service that briefly upended the entire theatrical industry, came in July, when the company announced a temporary shutdown to deal with technical issues in the service’s app. They promised the return of MoviePass after “several weeks.” Here we are, several weeks later, and instead MoviePass is going away completely.
It was a quiet end to a company that loomed so large in the minds of cinephiles just a few months ago. At its height, the company had more than three million subscribers, drawn to the company’s monthly plan, which offered customers a movie a day in theaters around the country for just $10 a month. It seemed too good to be true, but it was true — at least for a while. But it was also financially unsustainable, which is why the company was constantly beset by financial and technical problems and now is, at least for the foreseeable future, shutting down.
MoviePass’ impact will still be felt in theaters even if the company itself vanishes forever. More and more of the big theater chains now offer their own version of a MoviePass-esque subscription (albeit usually at a much higher price). Fans have begun pushing back against the exorbitant prices at theaters, and expecting more for their money. In large part, they have MoviePass to thank for that.
Gallery — Great Movies That Became Horrible Franchises: