MoviePass Refuses to Die

Illustration for article titled MoviePass Refuses to Die
Image: Gizmodo, Movie Pass

We’ve been seeing the buzzards circling MoviePass for months. First, there were reports that the subscription movie ticket service has been hemorrhaging money, then the company stopped paying for major films, and then it nuked its unlimited plan. But the service continues to fumble along, employing bullshit businesses tactics. Just last week, MoviePass began re-enrolling some former customers unless they opted out.

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Now CEO of MoviePass parent company Helios & Matheson, Ted Farnsworth, insists it’s fine—everything’s fine. “We’re still here, and we’re not going anywhere,” Farnsworth told the Wrap in a public discussion where he claimed the company has never considered bankruptcy and stated that it raised $65 million in funding last month. In the filmed talk, Farnsworth declined to provide information on the source of the investment.

A Helios & Matheson spokesperson confirmed to Gizmodo the amount of $65 million, but would not comment on where the money came from, or provide any additional information.

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Farnsworth told the Wrap that the company’s restriction to three movies a month has helped stabilize the business model, and claimed that subscribers are currently going to less than one movie a month, on average. He insists that “technically subscription alone right now is doing just fine,” but the company is more concerned with matters like marketing and advertising to users and getting revenue from co-acquisitions of independent films, according to the Wrap.

But as the company claims its subscription base is doing fine, its Turkish rival Sinemia is trying to lure MoviePass subscribers away with an unlimited movie plan. Hopefully, MoviePass doesn’t resort to any more tricks—like sneaky re-enrollment—to keep its subscriber numbers stable.

[The Wrap]

Update 1:00 pm: As Variety reports, a Helios & Matheson regulatory filing from today shows the $65 million in funding came from stock sales as part of an existing agreement and “prepayments by investors of certain existing investor notes payable to the company.”

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Former senior reporter at Gizmodo

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DISCUSSION

The reason why people are going to less then one a month is because unless they want to see a movie that came out weeks ago it doesn’t even appear as an option. I kept them around for a while longer under the thought that even if limited to some movies as long as I saw one a month it’d be worth it. I’m at the point where most of the time the movies available are ones I’ve seen already when they didn’t offer them, or are only available at certain times that just don’t work for me. I’m going to get them to pay for at least one more movie and then cancel. It’s just not worth it. I’m already just paying the box office price since I want to see a movie and they don’t have it so what am I saving through them? Nothing!