Founders: Stacy Spikes, Hamet Watt
Industry: Movie tickets
Year Founded: 2011
Year Defunct: 2020
MoviePass was founded in 201 by technology and entertainment entrepreneurs Stacy Spikes and Hamet Watt. It was backed by major investors including True Ventures, AOL Ventures, Lambert Media, Moxie Pictures and other investors. MoviePass, Inc. was an American subscription-based movie ticketing service majority-owned by Helios and Matheson Analytics.
Founded in 2011 and headquartered in New York City, the service allowed subscribers to purchase up to three movie tickets per month for a monthly fee. The service utilized a mobile app, where users check in to a theater and choose a movie and showtime, which resulted in the cost of the ticket being loaded to a prepaid debit card, which was used to purchase the ticket from the movie theater as usual.
The service went through several pricing structures following its original invite-only launch (including those limited to two or three films per month, and "unlimited" plans, with pricing based on market size), before announcing in August 2017 that it would switch to offering a plan with a single film per day priced at $9.95 per month. The change in business model came with the acquisition of a majority stake in the company by an analytics firm, which sought to widen the service's reach so it could collect more information on customer viewing habits.
MoviePass was named as one of the "25 Most Disruptive Apps of 2012" and part of "The Best of Everything in 2012" by Business Insider. The 2017 change in business model was successful in attracting customers; the service reported having 2 million subscribers in February 2018. That same month, the company announced at the Sundance Film Festival that it would also acquire and distribute films under the new subsidiary, MoviePass Ventures.
After its launch, MoviePass faced objections from major cinema chains, particularly AMC Theatres, over its business model and sustainability. These concerns were exacerbated in July 2018, when the service was forced to temporarily shut down for a day in order to negotiate an additional loan, and began to make other changes such as reducing its unlimited plan to offer only three no-cost tickets per-month (with further tickets only being discounted), implementing demand-based fees and blackouts on specific high-profile releases, and ultimately restricting the service to a limited selection of up to six specified films, rotating daily.
On September 14, 2019, MoviePass shut down its mobile ticketing service. On January 28, 2020, MoviePass' parent company filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and announced that it had ceased all business operations.
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