After months of financial troubles, it was announced that MoviePass will officially shut down effective immediately on September 14, 2019. The news broke on September 13th to MoviePass subscribers everywhere through email and in a press release statement from parent company Helios and Matheson.
MoviePass was developed by Helios and Matheson in 2017, allowing passholders to see one movie in theaters everyday with only a monthly flat rate payment required. The concept seemed novel at first, giving audiences nearly unlimited access to watching movies on the big screen, until problems arose within the service’s first year. MoviePass garnered continued criticism as the service pulled funds from users’ personal bank accounts and jeopardized info privacy, causing many users to be dissatisfied.
Furthermore, many theater chains were suspicious of MoviePass, fearing it would decrease their profits, and refused to accept the pass. AMC Theaters offered a competitor with their AMC A-List program by letting guests pay a monthly fee to gain access to certain films, which certainly damaged MoviePass’ reputation. It was clear that the service was dying, with very few people using it as much as they did within the first year of operation. Now, Helios and Matheson announced that the service will be officially disbanding.
Even though the pass is ending, it isn’t quite the end for movie theater subscription services. MoviePass did fortunately pave the way for other theaters to make a service of their own, not just with AMC’s A-List program but even Cinemark and Regal developing their own service for regular moviegoers everywhere. It might have been short lived, but MoviePass still changed the game for the movie theater industry.