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MoviePass Users Out of Luck on Holiday Weekend (and Beyond)

Friday Jul 5, 2019

Still have MoviePass? If so, don't plan on using it in the near future.

The premier movie theater subscription service, said it is temporarily interrupting its service for subscribers, reported Variety yesterday. The move was done in order for the service to complete work on an improved version of its mobile application.

Variety reports the service will be down for a couple of weeks, though MoviePass has not announced a date when the service will return.

The interruption began at 5 a.m. ET on July 4, 2019. No subscribers will be charged during the interruption period. Subscribers will be automatically credited for the number of affected days once the service continues. Subscribers will not need to request a credit or contact MoviePass customer service to get the credit. During this period, no new subscribers will be enrolled.

"There was also a hint that the money-losing MoviePass business is running low on funds," the Variety report continues. "The company, in announcing the temporary shutdown, said it 'plans to use this time to recapitalize in order to facilitate a seamless transition and improved subscriber experience once the service continues.'"

In a letter to subscribers, Lowe said that MoviePass has been working hard to improve its groundbreaking subscription service to ensure it meets its ultimate vision.

"There's never a good time to have to do this," said MoviePass Inc. CEO Mitch Lowe. "But to complete the improved version of our app, one that we believe will provide a much better experience for our subscribers, it has to be done..."

"We have listened and we understand the frustrations of our subscribers," he said. "To provide the level of service you deserve and we can be proud of, we need to improve our mobile app. We plan to make this improvement by utilizing an enhanced technology platform, which is in the final stages of completion," he continued.

"As of March 21, 2019, MoviePass' parent company — Helios and Matheson Analytics — said it had cash on hand of about $2.8 million and $13.1 million on deposit with its merchant and fulfillment processors related to MoviePass subscription revenue," Variety added. "Helios and Matheson said it netted $5.56 million in new financing from "certain institutional investors," which closed March 25."

In April, Business Insider reported that subscriptions to the service had dropped to 225,000 current subscribers, a massive decline from the over 3 million people who were using MoviePass in June 2018.

"This is the latest sign of the collapse of the movie-ticket-subscription startup, which became an overnight sensation in the summer of 2017 when it drastically dropped its price to $10 a month (to see one movie a day in theaters). The plan proved so popular that MoviePass passed 3 million subscribers by June 2018, the company said. But the startup struggled to control its cash burn, which reached into the hundreds of millions of dollars."

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