moviepass dead

After a long bout with terminal bad ideas, MoviePass has died at the age of eight. The movie ticket subscription service is survived by millions of subscribers who once thought they had stumbled upon the greatest deal ever, only to learn no one behind-the-scenes knew what the hell they were doing. The death of MoviePass serves as a cautionary tale for us all – a reminder that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. R.I.P. MoviePass.

At one point, MoviePass was on top of the world. The service pulled in 3 million subscriptions at its height, and film fans across the country were gaga over the prospect of using their MoviePass membership to see unlimited films. Then it all came crashing down. MoviePass realized their unlimited plan was unsustainable and likely knew that from the start. As a result, they did away with the unlimited plan and changed prices – something that didn’t go over so well. On top of that, technical problems plagued the app, certain screenings were completely locked-out, and customer service was non-existent. MoviePass has spent the last essentially re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic as the ship was clearly filling up with water. Now, it’s official: MoviePass is no more.

Tomorrow, September 14, MoviePass will shut down its ticketing service. In a letter to subscribers, parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics stated that “efforts to recapitalize MoviePass have not been successful to date.” Here’s the full letter:

Over the past several months, MoviePass™ worked hard to relaunch its groundbreaking subscription service and recapitalize the company. While we were able to relaunch the service for some of our subscribers with an improved technology platform, our efforts to recapitalize the company have not been successful to date. As a result, it pains us to inform you that effective at 8 a.m. E.T. on September 14, 2019, we must interrupt service for all current MoviePass™ subscribers. MoviePass™ will be providing subscribers with appropriate refunds for their period of service already paid for. Subscribers will not need to request a refund or contact MoviePass™ customer service to receive a refund. Subscribers will not be charged during the service interruption. At this point, we are unable to predict if or when the MoviePass™ service will continue.

We still deeply believe in the need for the MoviePass™ service in the marketplace, to maintain affordable access to theaters and provide movie lovers with choices of where to go to the movies. In August 2017, MoviePass™ began a transformation of the moviegoing industry by introducing its low monthly price subscription service. Since then, others in the industry have followed our lead. Now, as a result of this transformation, movie lovers throughout the United States have the ability to see movies in theaters using subscription services at prices they can actually afford, albeit with limited choices of theaters using those services. In the course of this industry transformation, MoviePass™ has experienced setbacks and challenges that are well known. Nevertheless, MoviePass™ remained committed to leading and competing in an industry that is resistant to outside competition and change. We believe that fostering competition and change in the moviegoing industry is critical to the satisfaction of the moviegoing public and filmmakers alike.

We thank you for your loyalty to MoviePass™ and sharing our vision for the industry. Although we do not currently know what the future holds for the MoviePass™ service, we hope to find a path that will enable us to continue the service in the future.

While the statement mentions hope for the future, it’s probably safe to assume that there’s no way back for MoviePass at this point. The service lived fast and died hard, and what a ride it was.

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