MoviePass Files For Bankruptcy, Dissolving Company
Say goodbye to “the future of moviegoing.”
More, via Deadline:
Unlike Chapter 11, where companies can be reorganized and survive, this gang is dissolving, shutting its doors and everyone has resigned. Four months after the MoviePass service closed down it’s clear it’s not coming back. The company’s interim CEO Parthasarathy Krishnan and CFO Robert Damon both tendered their resignations, as did remaining members of the board of directors, Prathap Singh, Gavriel Ralbag, Muralikrishna Gadiyaram, and Joseph Fried.
It’s a sad and quiet end for a company that briefly had an enormous impact on the movie industry. MoviePass had been around for a few years as an independently-operated subscription service for movie theaters when in lowered its monthly price to just $10 a month, sparking enormous customer growth. (At one point, the company had three million paying subscribers.)
Its business model was hilariously unsustainable. Here in New York City, a MoviePass subscription — which, in its prime, could be used on a movie every day of the month — was basically cheaper that the price of a single regular movie ticket. The company burned through money, and tried a variety of tactics to survive, including limiting users to one of a handful of movies per day or charging different prices based on customers’ location. It didn’t matter; by that point, the whole service was a sinking ship. A few months ago, MoviePass announced it was “temporarily” shutting down. It never came back online.
While you didn’t need an economics degree to see that MoviePass was doomed as long as it charged people roughly the price of one ticket for 30 days of moviegoing, the company leaves behind a significant legacy. With customers signing up in droves, movie theaters were inspired to compete and start their own subscription services — albeit with somewhat higher (and more financially sustainable) prices. (Movie theaters also benefit from busier auditoriums even if they’re making less on ticket sales because they make money on concessions.) While MoviePass is gone, many of these theater-specific services it inspired will continue. As long as they do, the company is not completely forgotten to the MoviePast.
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