Is MoviePass not actually dead? Inside the bizarre countdown website
2020 was a year in which many people threw away many things. Collectively, we also threw away the once-popular albeit short-lived MoviePass, a subscription-based movie ticketing service that allowed you to see one movie a day for nearly $10 a month. MoviePass, which was founded in 2011, had a business model that had many scratching their heads, asking just how the company could ever profit off such a low fee.
Sadly, in early 2019, what many predicted finally happened, as MoviePass finally folded up shop after a series of insurmountable problems, all related to tech, finances, and constant alterations within the MoviePass contract. Heck, we’re even getting future docuseries based on the rise & fall of this service, produced by Mark Wahlberg’s production company.
However, for those of you who haven’t given up on the service, don’t worry . . . it hasn’t given up on you, either. What? Movie buffs who had hoped to return to the theatres sometime in 2021 via Moviepass rejoice, as an updated official site has now launched a countdown that reads “the movie is about to start”, coming to a close on Monday, March 22nd, at 12:00pm ET. Just what exactly is happening with MoviePass?
Rise & Fall
After their launch in 2011, MoviePass had offered unlimited movie tickets to subscribers at various price points, depending on user location. If you lived in a more populated city, such as Los Angeles or New York, then subscription fees could run as high as $50 per month. Still, if you saw over five movies a month then you surely got your money’s worth.
However, once the analytics firm Helios and Matheson purchased a majority stake in the company in 2017, they sent shockwaves throughout the world once they announced an epic service change of a single non-premium fee of only $9.95 per month. This price, of course, allowed you to see one movie a day, minus new releases. This promotion garnered the company an extra three-million subscribers.
This offer, however, came with heavy criticism from the major theatre chains, disapproving of MoviePass and their “unsustainable” business model. Afterward, once several of the bigger movie chains opted to not participate with MoviePass, as well as a series of complaints regarding the actual MoviePass app, MoviePass became unhinged, shutting down in 2019 once Helios and Matheson filed for bankruptcy.
On Tuesday, the website MoviePass Ventures launched, displaying only the MoviePass logo, a red background with the image of a young woman enjoying her time at the theatre, as well as a countdown, currently set at five days. There is also a contact link, sending you straight to an email template. Maybe it’s there where we can hound MoviePass about just what exactly is going on.
While multiple outlets have reached out to MoviePass reps for a comment on this curious countdown, it seems as if MoviePass is keeping their secrets wrapped up tight for the next five days. Hopefully, this will not involve a little girl climbing out of her well to destroy us through our TVs. Don’t laugh. If this was still 2020 then this 100% happens.
Because this is MoviePass Ventures, however, perhaps this means that they’re once again getting back into the movie distributing game? MoviePass Venture Films, which was outed for manipulating reviews for their own films, is responsible for such cinematic garbage as 2018’s Gotti, The Row, and American Animals. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
What are your thoughts regarding the surprise MoviePass countdown site? Do you think that the company is going to try and make a comeback? Did you subscribe to MoviePass a few years back? How about your favorite movie theatre chain? Comment below and let us know your thoughts!