After a fairly tumultuous ride, the subscription service MoviePass is finally being put out of its misery.
For most, the news comes as no surprise. The subscription service had been struggling with financial issues for some time. Things started seeming desperate last month when the company fired a near third of their staff. The cuts came not long after a confusing period of the app shutting down for several weeks, leaving subscribers in the dark on when it’d be back up and running.
In a press release from MoviePass parent company Helios and Matheson, the financial reasons behind closing were made cut and dry:
“On September 13, 2019, MoviePass notified its subscribers that it would be interrupting the MoviePass service for all its subscribers effective September 14, 2019, because its efforts to recapitalize MoviePass have not been successful to date.”
Though MoviePass has been around since 2011, it didn’t really jump on most people’s radar until 2017 when the subscription service began offering unlimited monthly movie tickets for a mere $9.99 per month. The idea came from CEO Mitch Lowe, a former Netflix executive who was brought on to MoviePass in 2016, equipped with a big vision for reshaping the theater industry. It didn’t take long before the subscription service was up to one million subscribers.
However, the business model was far from foolproof. As users went to unlimited movies, MoviePass was hemorrhaging money. Even with the help of nearly $70 million dollars in venture capital, the company could not keep up with the costs, not to mention competitors like AMC releasing their own monthly subscription services.
It’s not yet determined as to whether MoviePass is gone for good, as Helios and Matheson offered a small bit of hope, claiming,
“The Company is continuing its efforts to seek financing to fund its operations. There can be no assurance that any such financing will be obtained or available on terms acceptable to the Committee.”
In the meantime, for those still looking for a good deal at the movies, don’t worry, there’s always the trusty matinee.