MoviePass is shutting down tomorrow, September 14, 2019. The service, which at one point offered its members unlimited movies at theaters for $9.95 a month, is finally going the way of the Dodo.
Its parent company, Helios and Matheson Analytics, said today: “On September 13, 2019, MoviePass notified its subscribers that it would be interrupting the MoviePass service for all its subscribers effective September 14, 2019, because its efforts to recapitalize MoviePass have not been successful to date. The Company is unable to predict if or when the MoviePass service will continue. The Company is continuing its efforts to seek financing to fund its operations. There can be no assurance that any such financing will be obtained or available on terms acceptable to the Committee.”
The subscription service at one point had over 3 million members, but price changes, technical problems, and the company running out of money (and not letting people see new wide releases) eventually saw that subscriber base dwindle to almost nothing. MoviePass shutting down is not a big surprise, as the app went offline before the July 4th holiday to work on what it said was improvements to the service.
While MoviePass is dead, the company did spark major theatrical exhibitors to start their own programs, such as AMC Theaters‘ Stubs A-List plan, Cinemark’s Movie Club and Regal’s Unlimited pass.
In addition to the MoviePass news, Helios and Matheson Analytics also talked about its own fate: “Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc. today announced that its board of directors has formed a strategic review committee, composed entirely of the Company’s independent directors, to identify, review and explore all strategic and financial alternatives for the Company, including a sale of the Company in its entirety, a sale of substantially all of the Company’s assets including MoviePass, Moviefone and MoviePass Films, a business reorganization or one or more other extraordinary corporate transactions, together with the assumption or settlement of the Company’s liabilities in connection with any of these alternatives.”
Here’s the letter that MoviePass subscribers received:
Dear MoviePass™ Subscribers,
Over the past several months, MoviePass™ worked hard to relaunch its groundbreaking subscription service and recapitalize the company. While we were able to relaunch the service for some of our subscribers with an improved technology platform, our efforts to recapitalize the company have not been successful to date. As a result, it pains us to inform you that effective at 8 a.m. E.T. on September 14, 2019, we must interrupt service for all current MoviePass™ subscribers. MoviePass™ will be providing subscribers with appropriate refunds for their period of service already paid for. Subscribers will not need to request a refund or contact MoviePass™ customer service to receive a refund. Subscribers will not be charged during the service interruption. At this point, we are unable to predict if or when the MoviePass™ service will continue.
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. 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.
We thank you for your loyalty to MoviePass™ and sharing our vision for the industry. Although we do not currently know what the future holds for the MoviePass™ service, we hope to find a path that will enable us to continue the service in the future.