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MoviePass Woes Build, Some Predict 'the End Is Near'

Movie subscription service looks like it's in big trouble after stocks fall 60%
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2018 6:52 AM CDT
In this Jan. 30, 2018, file photo, a woman holds her MoviePass card outside an AMC theater in Indianapolis.   (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

(Newser) – Shares for the parent company of MoviePass plunged Monday, dropping 60% to close at $0.80 and prompting Forbes to make a dire prediction: "The end is near" for the subscription service, which was charging users $9.95 per month for the ability to see a movie a day in theaters. In an emergency move last week, Helios and Matheson put in place a 1-for-250 reverse stock split and borrowed $5 million to keep things afloat, as it had depleted funds to pay theaters for tickets. The low closing price is notable because a company can be delisted from Nasdaq if its stock stays below $1 for a certain number of consecutive days. Deadline notes the company's cash-flow problem led to outages on the MoviePass app over the weekend, specifically for subscribers trying to buy tickets for Mission Impossible: Fallout.

And not including major movie releases on the service may be the indefinite future: Business Insider reports that at an "all-hands meeting" on Monday, MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe announced that The Meg and Christopher Robin, coming out in theaters in early August, wouldn't be available to subscribers through the app. In a letter Friday, Lowe also said that subscribers wanting to see films "in high demand on Opening Weekend" would have to pay a surcharge—what he calls "Peak Pricing," and which a MoviePass rep told Quartz earlier this month could mean a surcharge of between $2 and $6. Lowe also noted that "as we continue to evolve the service, certain movies may not always be available in every theater on our platform." Some users are calling this all a bait and switch, per the Washington Post, which calls the service's moves "another step toward the abyss." (Read more MoviePass stories.)

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