That oddly-named holding company shot to fame by starting, growing and ultimately badly bungling the MoviePass subscription service, which is next on the auction block.
Alan Nisselson, a partner in the law firm Windels Marx reported to New York Bankruptcy Judge Stuart Bernstein that a company called Born In Cleveland LLC had put in the best of six bids for Moviefone on March 16.
Helios & Matheson filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy early this year. Chapter 7 provides for the liquidation of a company’s assets to satisfy creditors – versus Chapter 11, which attempt to maintain a business as a going concern.
MovieFone was founded in 1989 by Russ Leatherman, Andrew Jarecki, Rob Gukeisen, Pat Cardamone and Adam Slutsky. It launched in Los Angeles and New York first with Leatherman as the voice of Mr. MovieFone. It expanded across the U.S. and later migrated online. It was acquired by AOL in 1999 for $388 million. The online business was bought by Movietickets.com in 2004. Ten years later it shut down its call-in service and 1-777-FILM phone number but kept its mobile app. It was relaunched in 2014 as a comprehensive search tool and acquired by Helios and Matheson from Verizon’s Oath (now called Verizon Media Group) for $1 million cash and $8 million in stock.
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