MoviePass and its parent company file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,160   +132
Staff member

Movie ticket subscription service MoviePass and parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics officially threw in the towel this week, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Of course, the writing was on the wall long before today for anyone that bothered to read it.

MoviePass caught fire in the summer of 2017 when it slashed its subscription pricing from $50 a month down to an unbelievable $9.95 per month. At that rate, subscribers could see one movie each and every day – an incredible value, even if you only utilized it a few times a month. For hardcore movie buffs, it was a godsend.

Critics came out of the woodwork, decrying the business model as unsustainable and only setting consumers up for disappointment. And ultimately, they were right.

Even though MoviePass failed, it wasn’t a total loss, as others took the idea and ran with it. With a proper business model and the fact that it doesn’t have to subsidize ticket costs, AMC has found great success with its own subscription service, Stubs A-List.

Permalink to story.

 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 4,873   +5,401
"MoviePass caught fire in the summer of 2017 when it slashed its subscription pricing from $50 a month down to an unbelievable $9.95 per month. At that rate, subscribers could see one movie each and every day – an incredible value, even if you only utilized it a few times a month. For hardcore movie buffs, it was a godsend."


It's hard as hell to get me to even want to see a movie in the theater now. I feel like the product is vastly declining in quality and the price is too high. I've gone very infrequently frequently. The last time I went to the theater was to see that mockery: Rise of the Skywalker and prior to that: Terminator Dark Fate.
Each visit, I spent around $15 for my ticket and snacks bought that price up between $10 and$15 to a total of nearly $30 per person. I also went to see The Irishman but I got in on a $5 matinee.

How many "hard core movie buffs" are there?

Most people are spending so much on monthly subscriptions for cable TV that they just sit it out and see a movie at home - unless a big budget production like Star Wars is released.

This business model really works better locally in the theater's themselves where they offer you a flat rate for a daily viewing and you buy it knowing it's something you'll actually use regularly.

$50 a month?

That was never going to work.

$10 a month was doable, but completely unsustainable - as we can now see.
 

TomSEA

Posts: 3,320   +2,068
Good idea, horrible business model. I think most folks saw this as a doomed venture from the start.

I still go to an occasional movie. Recently went and saw "1917" at the theater, and if there ever was a movie to see in a theater, that was it.

But for the most part, streaming and RedBox are my movie friends.
 

p51d007

Posts: 2,722   +2,054
I don't even bother going TO the movies anymore. Given the price OF the movies, the time & effort getting to the theater, parking, waiting in line unless you pre-pay for the ticket, maybe getting a few overpriced snacks, finding a seat, dealing with people talking/using their phone and the boring movies (remakes, reboots, part 4,5,6 ) I don't bother. I just wait for them to show up online and maybe watch them at home.
Eventually, I think "going" to the movies, will die off.
Yeah, seeing it on a super huge screen, but, the experience isn't what it once was.
 

mctommy

Posts: 389   +121
"MoviePass caught fire in the summer of 2017 when it slashed its subscription pricing from $50 a month down to an unbelievable $9.95 per month. At that rate, subscribers could see one movie each and every day – an incredible value, even if you only utilized it a few times a month. For hardcore movie buffs, it was a godsend."


It's hard as hell to get me to even want to see a movie in the theater now. I feel like the product is vastly declining in quality and the price is too high. I've gone very infrequently frequently. The last time I went to the theater was to see that mockery: Rise of the Skywalker and prior to that: Terminator Dark Fate.
Each visit, I spent around $15 for my ticket and snacks bought that price up between $10 and$15 to a total of nearly $30 per person. I also went to see The Irishman but I got in on a $5 matinee.

How many "hard core movie buffs" are there?

Most people are spending so much on monthly subscriptions for cable TV that they just sit it out and see a movie at home - unless a big budget production like Star Wars is released.

This business model really works better locally in the theater's themselves where they offer you a flat rate for a daily viewing and you buy it knowing it's something you'll actually use regularly.

$50 a month?

That was never going to work.

$10 a month was doable, but completely unsustainable - as we can now see.

AMC found a sweet spot at $20/month, up to 3 movies a week including IMAX and other more premium tickets.

If you are paying $15 for ticket, why when you can get a 4-pack at costco for ~$8-9/ticket?

I don't even bother going TO the movies anymore. Given the price OF the movies, the time & effort getting to the theater, parking, waiting in line unless you pre-pay for the ticket, maybe getting a few overpriced snacks, finding a seat, dealing with people talking/using their phone and the boring movies (remakes, reboots, part 4,5,6 ) I don't bother. I just wait for them to show up online and maybe watch them at home.
Eventually, I think "going" to the movies, will die off.
Yeah, seeing it on a super huge screen, but, the experience isn't what it once was.

A lot of the older theaters around me have been renovating into reclining assigned seats so no more waiting in line... just need to prepay and pick the seat in advance, go in on time if you want to see previews, go in 10 mins after showing time to avoid previews. Less seats for the movie theaters but at least they are not closing and they still make a killing on concessions.
 

SirDigby

Posts: 797   +594
AMC has found great success with its own subscription service, Stubs A-List.
I mean, Cineworld have been doing this for over a decade in the UK.... it costs about 1.7 times the price of a standard adult ticket and gives you unlimited viewings in a month.
I've never used it as I usually don't go to the cinema more than once in a month but a friend of mine went every week.
 

Burty117

Posts: 4,082   +2,078
I mean, Cineworld have been doing this for over a decade in the UK.... it costs about 1.7 times the price of a standard adult ticket and gives you unlimited viewings in a month.
I've never used it as I usually don't go to the cinema more than once in a month but a friend of mine went every week.
I was about to comment the same thing! Cineworld has had their unlimited card for ages now, had a few friends with them. They had the added bonus of getting 50% off the bill at local restaurants as well.
 

SirDigby

Posts: 797   +594
I was about to comment the same thing! Cineworld has had their unlimited card for ages now, had a few friends with them. They had the added bonus of getting 50% off the bill at local restaurants as well.

Frankie and Bennies! Think it also gets you 10% of confectionary in the cinema?
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,742   +5,475
Very poorly executed..
I can almost the dupes and suckers, (sorry, I meant "investors"), moaning and caterwauling from here.

Until "Movie Pass" happened, I honestly believed that even Elon Musk couldn't sell a business model that obviously destined for bankruptcy to a classroom full of 3rd graders.:poop:
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,341   +2,616
TechSpot Elite
Yeah, they unfortunately launched at a declining time (at least for me). This was few years too late.

I am seldom going to the theatre these days, as there just isn't anything I want to watch over the multitudes of media content I have access to at home.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,742   +5,475
I am seldom going to the theatre these days, as there just isn't anything I want to watch over the multitudes of media content I have access to at home.
A few years ago I went to see the 2nd (?) "Transformers" movie in Imax. It was the worst experience I could imagine.Nothing but barrel distortion out past about 90 degree angle of view. The fat round heads on the performers at the edge of the screen well an abomination. I own and love a full frame fisheye lens, it's just that I would never put in front of a movie projector.The excess magnification kills sharpness and edge contrast as well. I think I had a 46" TV at the time, and I enjoyed to movie a lot more at home than at the theater, and for only $1,50 from Redbox.
 

brucek

Posts: 802   +1,104
TechSpot Elite
The key difference is that Cineworld owns the seats that it is selling the all-access pass to. They know the key inputs to the math - how often the seat would be empty anyway, making their cost $0; and how much they'll make just on the concessions. They can tweak the pricing and the rules as needed to dial it in.

MoviePass had none of this. They had to pay full retail for every seat. They got nothing from concession sales. It was not poor execution, it was an idea that was never going to be viable for an outside party in the face of hostility from the folks who actually own the seats they were trying to sell.