After years of ups and downs, massive surges in popularity, public shaming, and pricing adjustments, MoviePass is finally shutting down for good. The first few years of the service were quite rocky, though once it launched a lower price point that felt too good to be true, the service amassed nearly three million subscribers, ultimately crippling their financial model. After attempting to find the right balance of offering subscribers a valuable service while still managing to turn a profit, the task proved too difficult, as the service will shut down on September 14th with no future plans of ever being revived.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, MoviePass parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc shared that "efforts to recapitalize MoviePass have not been successful to date. The Company is unable to predict if or when the MoviePass service will continue."
The service began back in 2011, offering subscribers the opportunity to get a discount if they were frequent moviegoers. For a flat fee, they could see a set number of films at participating theaters, but the cost of the service and limited amount of theaters prevented MoviePass from taking off. At its most expensive, the monthly fee for MoviePass was nearly $50, making it difficult to see enough movies to find value.
In 2017, MoviePass announced a new subscription plan, costing only $9.95 a month and allowing members to see as many movies as they wanted as many times a month as they wanted, with the restriction being they could only see one movie a day. Understandably, this earned a massive surge in subscribers, with MoviePass struggling to meet the demand.
As the months went by, MoviePass began limiting the number of movies someone could see in a given period while also increasing its prices. The service began losing subscribers, while theater chains like AMC and Cinemark launched their own subscription plans, which have steadily earned subscribers over the past year.
In addition to restricting subscribers as time went by, these members grew frustrated with the customer service experience, as they would suffer sporadic and unexplained outages, leading to MoviePass earning lots of anger on social media.
Helios and Matheson noted that MoviePass "is continuing its efforts to seek financing to fund its operations," while noting, "There can be no assurance that any such financing will be obtained or available."
Stay tuned for more details on any possible future for MoviePass.
Are you surprised that the service has come to an end? Let us know in the comments below!