On this Friday the 13, we say RIP to MoviePass! The moviegoing subscription may have looked like dead service walking for some time now, but it’s about to be official. As of tomorrow, Sept. 14 at 8 a.m., Moviepass will cease to exist, as the company’s CEO Mitch Lowe has just revealed.
At its height, MoviePass offered unlimited movie tickets to its over three million members at just $9.95 a month. It was once a hot and trendy service, but wasn’t built to last. It has run into a number of hurdles for over a year now, including a recent shutdown due to “maintenance” and a controversy concerning exposed customer’s credit card information.
In a letter to subscribers, CEO Mitch Lowe explained the company’s efforts to relaunch the service without success. MoviePass subscribers will no longer have the service starting Saturday morning and will be appropriately refunded for the period of service they already paid in advance for. The letter states users do not need to request for a refund in order to receive one, and will not be charged moving forward (via THR).
MoviePass also said it is “unable to predict if or when the MoviePass service will continue,” but does hope "to find a path that will enable us to continue the service in the future.” The service was owned by parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc., and the service boasted incredible early success. It will remain an early leader in introducing the movie ticket subscription service that has since been adopted by AMC Theatres, Regal Cinemas and Alamo Drafthouse.
The service’s impending failure could be seen previously through MoviePass's faced public financial roadblocks. Last summer, members encountered service interruption while the Helios and Matheson Analytics borrowed $5 million to resume operations.
Then, MoviePass placed members on a rollercoaster over its pricing plans, ticketing restrictions and Mitch Lowe reportedly even blocked user passwords during the opening of Avengers: Infinity War to stop them from using the service.
The end of MoviePass follows Sinemia’s recent shutdown in April after “insufficent funding.” However, the service has inspired AMC’s Stubs A-List service, which has over 900,000 subscribers after launching in summer 2018. AMC members pay $20 to $24 per month (depending on their region) for three movies a month at AMC Theatres in any format.
Cinemark additionally reportedly has 800,000 members in its $10 a month Movie Club since 2017. Regal Cinemas just launched its unlimited service a couple months ago starting at $18 a month, and Alamo Drafthouse now has a Season Pass subscription as well.
Although it failed, MoviePass did show other businesses that movie theater subscriptions could be a viable business. It’s perhaps a guinea pig and cautionary tale to the future of ticketing services moving forward.