- The movie-ticket-subscription service MoviePass is planning to relaunch this summer.
- The announcement was made by Stacy Spikes, a cofounder, during a relaunch event Thursday.
- MoviePass shut down in 2019 and filed for bankruptcy protection in 2020.
MoviePass, the troubled movie-ticket-subscription service that shut down in 2019, is planning a comeback.
Stacy Spikes, MoviePass’ founding CEO, announced during an event Thursday that the service would relaunch this summer.
Spikes said the goal was for MoviePass to be responsible for 30% of movie-ticket sales nationwide by 2030.
“People didn’t see MoviePass as a discount. They saw it as a discovery tool,” Spikes said.
Spikes did not say what pricing would be on the new MoviePass subscription, but he outlined some features he said would be included:
- A credit system where credits will roll over month to month.
- Credits will be tradeable to other people.
- Users will be able to bring another person when purchasing tickets through MoviePass.
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, the company in 2017 was bought by Helios and Matheson Analytics.
Under the leadership of Helios and Matheson 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 about 20,000 to about 100,000. In less than a year, MoviePass garnered over 3 million subscribers and had become a cultural sensation.
But the price was financially unsustainable. During the Farnsworth and Lowe era, MoviePass blew through hundreds of millions of dollars, and Spikes — who said he’d raised concerns internally about the low price point — was fired in 2018.
Helios and Matheson was delisted from the Nasdaq in 2019, and both MoviePass and Helios and Matheson filed for bankruptcy protection in 2020. At the time of MoviePass’ bankruptcy filing, it said it was under pending investigations by the Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, four California district attorneys, and New York’s attorney general.
In June, Farnsworth and Lowe settled with the FTC and reached a $400,000 settlement with the California district attorneys.
In November, Spikes bought back the company after his bid was approved by a Southern District of New York bankruptcy court.
On Thursday, Spikes said a portion of the new company would be available to anyone who wanted to invest in it, which would come with a lifetime membership to MoviePass. He didn’t specify the mechanism by which outsiders would be able to invest in MoviePass, though he said he wanted the relaunch to be “built by its fan base.”
Before Helios and Matheson filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, it was a publicly traded stock, and some investors who bet on MoviePass told Insider they lost more than $100,000.
As MoviePass relaunches, Spikes also wants to make the case that the service can help movie theaters as they continue to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, even as many chains — including AMC Theatres, the largest — have since launched their own ticket-subscription services.
MoviePass said it compared its internal ticket-sales data with overall box-office data from the tracking website The Numbers and concluded that it drove 4% of the US market share across all movies in 2018. It also said that it accounted for 19.4% of nationwide tickets sold for the 2018 indie movie “Sorry to Bother You” and 18.3% of the tickets for the sci-fi film “Annihilation.” Insider could not independently verify the figures.