MoviePass has been making a lot of customers happy over the last few months, but its parent company, Helios and Matheson Analytics, has had to answer a lot of questions about the business end. Following the news a little over a week ago that the parent company was blowing through a lot of cash each month, confidence has fallen in the company's stock. Per reports this week, Helios and Matheson Analytics dropped to a new low on Wall Street, proving the company is still a big question mark for the stock market.
On Tuesday, stock for Helios and Matheson Analytics dropped 12%, hitting a new low. At that point the stock was trading at 53 cents. On Friday, the company had dropped even further, trading at only 41 cents at the time of this writing. MoviePass has amassed a large number of subscribers, over 2 million in fact, and is currently accepted at 4,000 theaters domestically. However, Wall Street has shown an increasing reluctance to back Helios and Matheson Analytics as it continues its MoviePass experiement. At one point, the company was trading at a high of $38.86 cents. By February, it had dropped to $8.34, and is now trading even lower.
The news is coming despite head of Helios & Matheson Analytics Ted Farnsworth saying that he isn't worried about the direction people have felt like the company has been going over the past several months with its newer, cheaper MoviePass, a pass that its subscribers have been using at a frequent rate -- even if most see fewer than four movies a month, that's likely often still a monetary loss for MoviePass, as subscribers are only paying $9.95 a month for the product. Even with MoviePass making changes to its terms of service, it is still currently losing money. Still, per Farnsworth:
There's been a feeding frenzy of negativity, but it's not going to slow us down. I'm not worried at all. You're going to see. We're doing more acquisitions of movies and companies.
Helios and Matheson Analytics is known for being an IT consulting firm. What does that have to do with movies? Not much, and some speculation on the internet has wondered whether the company should have tried to make MoviePass a reality, at all. Meanwhile a few other companies have sprung up as competitors for MoviePass: Sinemia has differentiated itself from MoviePass by allowing tiered options and a two person pass. Cinemark Movie Club allows people to see one movie free for month (included with the pass' $8.99 fee), as well as a discount on concessions.
Helios and Matheson Analytics might see a future for MoviePass, but right now the service is costing the firm $22 million a month. The analytics company has said that MoviePass has been given a $300 million line of credit and has 17 months of worth of cash before capital needs to be raised. In the meantime, the company's stock price keeps having issues.
Every company experiences growing pains, and in this case we'll have to wait and see how the MoviePass experiment pans out. In the meantime, use that $9.95 pass as much as you can, because the future of the service is still unclear at this point.