MoviePass parent co. shuts down subscription service
Sept. 14 (UPI) — MoviePass’ parent company shut down service Saturday that in its heyday allowed subscribers to see a movie a day for about $10 a month.
While the company has been able to salvage the service in the past through hiking up prices and reducing allotment of movies, MoviePass said disruption may be permanent this time on its website.
“Our efforts to recapitalize the company have not been successful to date,” MoviePass said. “At this point, we are unable to predict if or when the MoviePass service will continue.”
The parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics announced a strategic review to explore financial alternatives for the company Friday and notified subscribers the service would shut down the next day.
Among the options, were sale of the company in its entirety and all its assets including MoviePass, Moviefone and MoviePass Films, along with settlement of the company’s liabilities.
MoviePass started in 2017 with a flat fee of nearly $10 for subscribers to see a movie a day.
The original price was unsustainable because the company had to reimburse theaters for the full ticket price. Though it hoped it could make up the difference selling users data, that never worked.
By the summer of 2018, the monthly cash deficit was $45 million. In response, MoviePass rose its price to $14.95 a month, borrowed steep interest rates and cut down the number of movies to three a month. Then the plan rose to $19.95.
Restrictions got even tighter later on as the company only allowed its subscribers to see a limited number of movie titles at a given time. The changes did little to remove the company’s liabilities and angered customers promised a seamless experience.
The service was also interrupted temporarily in July as MoviePass updated its mobile app.
MoviePass had a data breach in August, exposing thousands of customer card numbers and personal credit cards, TechCrunch reported.
The company admitted “a potential security vulnerability,” but said it addressed the issue immediately and no customer data was compromised.