UPDATED with closing stock price. Sorry, haters, MoviePass has a bit more to say.
Its parent company, Helios & Matheson Analytics, filed a very brief 8-K with the SEC this morning but it wasn’t the kind of gloom and doom the company has trafficked in lately. Today’s update said the company has already paid back the $6.2 million it borrowed from Hudson Bay Capital Management to ease a cash crunch during the opening weekend of Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Earlier filings had noted that the lender could have demanded $3.1 million in repayment starting today.
The small dose of not-terrible news did not stop the free-fall of Helios & Matheson stock, which ended the session down 54% at a shade less than 23 cents.
Also today, the company put out a press release whose title may have more than a few Hollywood vets doing spit-takes with their morning coffee: “MoviePass Leverages Its Power At the Box Office.” In it, CEO Mitch Lowe insists that the company wants to be “a positive force in Hollywood.”
The release cites NRG data that the company says is proof of the clout of its 3 million members. A major caveat applies, though: The survey data is from spring and early summer — before this week’s extreme makeover of the service that will sharply limit access to popular, wide-release films while hiking monthly prices 50% to $15 a month.
The apples-and-oranges sample data shows that subscribers see movies they wouldn’t normally see in theaters, and recommend more movies to friends. Plus, 70% of the MoviePass flock told NRG that they are more likely to see a film even if it has a low Rotten Tomatoes score. NRG cited the bump MoviePass has provided to a range of titles, from specialty films like RBG and Blindspotting to wide releases such as Tag and The First Purge. It also said subscribers return to see the same movie at a rate up to 10 times that of the general moviegoing population.
“Through our one short year of incredible growth, we’ve learned a few key points about the film industry,” said Mitch Lowe CEO of MoviePass. “We are able to create immense value with our film partners by driving traffic to their films and effectively increasing the valuation of their films on the back-end deals they create. Not only do we want to provide an amazing deal for our subscribers but we also want to be a positive force in Hollywood.”
Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, meanwhile, does not quite have that same sunny outlook. Musk, who has launched daring experiments in electric vehicles, roof tiles and rocket ships and who raced to Thailand with a plan to rescue the boys trapped in a cave with a custom-designed submarine, said MoviePass was beyond saving. Here’s his exchange with a Twitter user, as MoviePass continues to trend: