- MoviePass cofounder Stacy Spikes has bought back the company.
- His bid was approved by a Southern District of New York bankruptcy court judge on Monday.
- Spikes said he hopes to relaunch the movie-ticket subscription service next year.
MoviePass, the movie theater ticket subscription service that became a sensation in the summer of 2017 before collapsing in epic fashion, is coming back.
MoviePass cofounder Stacy Spikes was granted ownership of the company by a Southern District of New York bankruptcy court judge who approved the sale on Monday, according to court documents reviewed by Insider. The financial transaction took place on Wednesday.
Spikes had placed a bid of an undisclosed amount to the trustee handling the bankruptcy of Helios and Matheson Analytics (HMNY), the former parent company of MoviePass.
“I can confirm that we acquired MoviePass out of bankruptcy on Wednesday,” Spikes said in a statement to Insider. “We are thrilled to have it back and are exploring the possibility of relaunching soon. Our pursuit to reclaim the brand was encouraged by the continued interest from the moviegoing community. We believe, if done properly, theatrical subscription can play an instrumental role in lifting moviegoing attendance to new heights.”
MoviePass was part of a bankruptcy auction of Helios and Matheson assets in June 2020, but there were no competitive bids at the time the auction ended. The minimum bid set by the trustee was $250,000. HMNY listed the estimated value of MoviePass between $1 million and $10 million, according to Variety.
Spikes told Insider that since this summer, he’d been working on putting the money together to place a bid to get the company back. He said he made the offer last month. Though Spikes would not disclose the amount, he said his bid was lower than the $250,000 minimum the trustee set in 2020. Customer data and email addresses were not part of the sale, Spikes said.
Spikes hopes to relaunch MoviePass sometime next year. A new site has been created for the relaunch, iwantmoviepass.com, and its logo will now feature a black background with white lettering, ditching its previous red background. Here is the new logo:
Spikes founded MoviePass with Hamet Watt in 2011, creating a service that let moviegoers see a certain number of movies a month in theaters for one monthly price. After struggling to stay afloat for years, in 2017 the company was bought by HMNY.
Under the leadership of HMNY CEO Ted Farnsworth and new MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe, the company launched a $10 a month subscription price to see a movie a day. Within two days, subscriptions went from 20,000 to 100,000. In less than a year, MoviePass had over 3 million subscribers.
With Farnsworth and Lowe at the helm, MoviePass blew through hundreds of millions of dollars, and Spikes — who said he’d raised concerns internally about the sustainability of the $10 price point — was fired in 2018.
HMNY was delisted from the Nasdaq in 2019 and both MoviePass and HMNY filed for bankruptcy in 2020. At the time of MoviePass’ bankruptcy filing, it said it was under pending investigations by the FTC, SEC, four California district attorneys, and the New York attorney general.
This June, Farnsworth and Lowe settled with the FTC and reached a $400,000 settlement with the California district attorneys.
After Spikes left MoviePass, he founded PreShow Interactive, which offers gamers the ability to unlock in-game currency by viewing branded content. It’s unclear if PreShow tech will be part of MoviePass going forward.
Mark Wahlberg’s non-fiction production company Unrealistic Ideas is currently developing a documentary on the rise and fall of MoviePass based on award-winning reporting by Insider.
Finding the Best Online Business
Enterprise Agility in a Earth of Synthetic Intelligence
Prime Five Benefits of Recruiting Qualified Workers From Jamaica