Here lies MoviePass. The app that was the hero the people needed but maybe the world wasn’t quite ready for. Much like what Napster did for the music industry, the company changed the conversation around how people go to the movies. By introducing a subscription service that allowed you to go to unlimited movies for a small price of $10 a month, MoviePass filled seats in movie theaters across the country with people who were excited not to be paying a month’s rent on seeing the latest Kevin Hart film. Its bereaving members — like yours truly — heard news last week that the company was going through somewhat of a complete overhaul and that the app we knew and loved would be much different from now on. But alas, It was hard for many to believe that the company could actually be making any money at all. So, this made people wonder if this was the nail in the coffin. Is MoviePass going out of business?
[Photo Credit: Warner Bros.]
Say it ain’t so … Is MoviePass going out of business?
MoviePass is not going out of business … yet. But, the app went down last thursday after it’s parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics ran out of money to pay for people's tickets. Members were sent into a dizzying state of panic as they were unable to check into the movies they so desperately desired to see. The app was restored the following day but It seemed like the writing was on the wall. Since, over the past month or so, MoviePass had been introducing “surge pricing” on more popular and newer titles like movies in the sprawling Marvel Cinematic Universe and the just released Mission Impossible: Fallout. All of that changed this week.
In a statement, the management at MoviePass announced that it will eventually raise it’s monthly price to $14.95 per month and put a restriction on new titles opening on over 1,000 screens for the first two weeks of their release. As Mitch Lowe, CEO of MoviePass, stated in a “look-on-the-bright-side” style press release — this shakeup will only get the company back on track so it can stick around for the long haul.
“These changes are meant to protect the longevity of our company and prevent abuse of the service,” stated Lowe in a press release. Adding “while no one likes change, these are essential steps to continue providing the most attractive subscription service in the industry. Our community has shown an immense amount of enthusiasm over the past year, and we trust that they will continue to share our vision to reinvigorate the movie industry.”
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It’s okay, Mitch. We know that MoviePass isn’t really “heading up to that farm upstate” so it can play with the rest of the old subscription service apps of the past. Is MoviePass going out of business? Time will tell. But what we do know is — the days of seeing as many movies you wanted for $10 a month is officially over. It was fun while it lasted.