Long-suffering MoviePass is dead in the water through the heart of summer to deal with technical issues. The theater-subscription service hit pause starting July 4, and told users it expects to be shut down for several weeks.
MoviePass has been responding to subscribers' tweets with the same statement to explain the lack of service:
As MoviePass notes, services "have been put on a temporary hold" but once technical problems are resolved, the service will be live again. The only timeline was "several weeks."
This particular user was surprised at "several weeks" and asked if they would be getting a refund. Another user asked if they could assume they'd be getting an extra month added to the annual subscription they already paid for up front.
According to MoviePass, per Variety, subscribers will not be charged during the shutdown, and they will automatically be credited for the number of affected days once the service continues. MoviePass is also not accepting new subscribers during the shutdown.
MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe acknowledged this isn't ideal, but he said the shutdown was required to work on improvements to the MoviePass mobile app:
There’s never a good time to have to do this. But to complete the improved version of our app, one that we believe will provide a much better experience for our subscribers, it has to be done.
MoviePass's temporary shutdown announcement also mentioned using this time "to recapitalize in order to facilitate a seamless transition and improved subscriber experience once the service continues." That "recapitalizing" sounds like a hint to more money problems.
MoviePass has been plagued with issues, both technical and financial, and it previously shut down (briefly) due to lack of money.
Unfortunately, the early promise of MoviePass has led to some subscribers -- and just critics in general -- to turn against the service and even hope it doesn't return:
One user replied, "In all fairness, it’s not as bad as Sinemia." That company recently announced it was ceasing operations in the U.S. -- due to lack of money and legal issues.
This MoviePass timing is particularly unfortunate since it's happening during summer 2019, with blockbusters like Spider-Man: Far From Home in theaters, and The Lion King, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Hobbs & Shaw, and many more still on the way.