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In brief: After years of attempts to make the service financially viable, MoviePass’s parent company, Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc (Helios), has thrown in the towel. The subscription service for cheap movie tickets has been halted with just 24 hours’ notice.
It’s been a dramatic, meandering path to reach this point, but MoviePass has said it ‘must interrupt service for all current’ subscribers, as its parent company says it is “unable to predict if or when the MoviePass service will continue.”
The service allowed subscribers paying $9.95 a month to enjoy as many movie tickets as they would like each month, capped at one film per day. That offer was replaced by a three-ticket-per-month cap, before being reintroduced in March this year. It was then in July that the company said that ‘big changes’ were coming, but it seems whatever was planned hasn’t worked out.
On Friday, the company CEO Mitch Lowe posted a message saying that all services would be discontinued starting Saturday, September 14 – giving less than 24 hours’ notice. There is a small glimmer of hope for subscribers as Lowe’s statement says “we hope to find a path that will enable us to continue the service in the future,” but given the much-publicized setbacks the company has faced, it seems clear that the business model simply isn’t viable.
According to former employees, MoviePass had been hoping that infrequent movie-goers would balance out the glut of ‘power users’ who sought to use the offer as much as possible, but this evidently hasn’t happened.
MoviePass’s website says that any current subscribers will have ‘appropriate refunds’ paid to them, and that there is no need ‘to request a refund or contact MoviePass’s customer service.