Something Is Afoot at MoviePass

Countdown clock suggests company is back from the dead
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2021 2:33 PM CDT
Something Is Afoot at MoviePass
This 2018 photo shows Movie Pass debit cards and used movie tickets in New York.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

MoviePass was killed by financial woes, though the pandemic would probably have finished it off if it hadn't shut down in 2019 and filed for bankruptcy in January 2020. But the service, which initially allowed users to see a movie a day in actual theaters for a subscription fee of $9.95 a month, may be rising from the dead. Variety reports that a new MoviePass website has launched with a mysterious countdown clock. "The movie is about to start," the website says, counting down the hours and days until 12pm Eastern on Monday, March 22. Former MoviePass execs say they are not involved in whatever is going on. "I have no idea. It has nothing to do with me," says former MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe, a Netflix co-founder who launched the service in 2017.

The company's early business model proved to be totally unsustainable, and its problems continued after it changed the plan to three movies a month for $9.95. Fast Company speculates that the new MoviePass project could be the same service with a more sustainable business plan, or some kind of effort to get people back into cinemas as they reopen in major markets. Whatever is going on, Twitter users who remember the "halcyon days" of MoviePass are excited, Complex reports. Rebecca Rubin at Variety says MoviePass "flew too close to the sun," but its service turned out to be a trailblazer that led major cinema chains to launch their own subscription plans. Mark Wahlberg is producing a documentary about the company's rise and fall. (More MoviePass stories.)

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