MoviePass has already had a profound impact on the movie industry in the way it has changed the game for ticket sales. However, it now appears the company wants in on the other end of the process, making movies themselves. It's being reported that MoviePass parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics currently has the exclusive option to buy Emmett Furla Oasis Films.
Emmett Furla Oasis Films is the studio behind films like the Mark Wahlberg led Lone Survivor and Martin Scorsese's Silence. The deal, which has yet to actually be completed, would give Helios and Matheson Analytics ownership of EFO's film library as well as its current production slate. The goal, according to Variety, is for Helios and Matheson to use this as a way to launch its own production company. EFO Films founders Randall Emmett and George Furla would act as co-CEO's of the new studio.
MoviePass has been a rollercoaster ride over the last several months. After initially dropping the price of its movie ticket subscription service to only $9.95 a month, the company saw it's subscriber base increase by an order of magnitude. It became one of the biggest names in the industry. However, the reduced price raised questions about MoviePass' ability to turn a profit, and recently investors have clearly been concerned about the company, as the stock value of Helios and Matheson has dropped significantly in recent weeks.
Purchasing EFO Films wouldn't be MoviePass' first foray into that side of the industry. The company is already working on the distribution of two movies in June, American Animals and the organized crime biopic Gotti with John Travolta in the lead role. Gotti was produced by EFO, which appears to be where the two companies began talking.
Clearly, this move shows that MoviePass has big plans for its own future beyond being a simple subscription service for movie theater tickets. It has its eye on the entire industry. Between movie production on one end and ticket sales on the other MoviePass would be part of the beginning and the end of a film's entire lifespan. This is a pretty drastic shift. Helios and Matheson Analytics is primarily a data company and while owning MoviePass makes sense in that regard, being part of a movie studio makes it look like the parent company might be making a shift in focus.
It will be interesting to see how the rest of the industry responds to this deal if it goes through. MoviePass has had an ongoing feud of sorts with AMC Theaters ever since the price of the service dropped. One has to wonder if other studios will take an equally dim view of the company getting involved in the production side. The other question is whether this acquisition will instill confidence in the company enough to cause the stock price to rebound.