2ND UPDATE, MONDAY 10:05PM: MoviePass is apparently alive. It’s just that they won’t be selling tickets to big movies like Meg and Christopher Robin going forward.
Business Insider reported the latest update tonight for the $9.99/a month-all-you-can-see movie subscription program after MoviePass boss Mitch Lowe held an “all-hands meeting” following today’s outage in which he announced that upcoming major movies won’t be available to subscribers in the foreseeable future as the service desperately tries to regain its financial footing. Tracking has Disney’s Christopher Robin opening in the low $30M range this weekend (not so big by summer box office standards, but too big by MoviePass measurements) while Warner Bros. shark movie Meg is opening on Aug. 10 with a projected 3-day in the low $20Ms.
Business Insider couldn’t get a comment from MoviePass today and was referred to Lowe’s letter to subscribers on Friday which just raises even more uncertainty. In the note, Lowe says that “peak pricing has rolled out nationally.” So does this now mean that certain indie films like Blindspotting or Three Identical Strangers will be impacted by surge pricing? Great, just what an indie movie needs: An obstacle that prevents moviegoers from seeing it.
Blindspotting producer Keith Calder tweeted:
Also, Lowe’s note reads, “Bring-a-Guest and Premium Features (ie., upgrades IMAX 2D & 3D, RealD, and more) will begin rolling out soon.” How can that be when most major studio event films are available in Imax, RealD or 3D?
As we mentioned previously, it will be interesting to see what happens to MoviePass’ 3M subscribers from this point on.
1ST UPDATE, MONDAY 1:43PM: Social media is exploding that the MoviePass app seems to be dead for most major theaters except for Landmark Theatres, one of the only prime national cinema circuits that the monthly movie ticket service has a deal with. When reached for comment, MoviePass did not return calls and their customer service Twitter handle @MoviePass_CS hasn’t updated a response in six hours.
On Thursday night MoviePass went out, and the following morning had to secure a $6.2M payday loan to stay alive and cover “merchant and fulfillment processors”. The situation was then fixed over the weekend by MoviePass returning online for most major circuits, except subscribers couldn’t purchase tickets for the weekend’s No. 1 movie Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Now MoviePass is dark again.
“I think they’re done,” guessed one distribution insider gloomily. After a 250-1 stock split last week, MoviePass’ parent company Helios & Matheson fell from a new share price of $22 to a closing price today of $0.80 per Deadline’s Dade Hayes with the corporation facing NASDAQ delisting.
If by some wing and a prayer MoviePass miraculously survives this, God knows all of this is taking a toll on its reported 3 million subscribers. We’re hearing loose talk that MoviePass might pull another rabbit out of its hat by tomorrow, that they’re not quite headed to the sunset just yet. We’ll keep you updated.
MoviePass released a statement on Friday in response to its bumpy Thursday night ride: “We apologize for the inconvenience caused by a temporary outage in our app over the past day. We have handled the issues on the back-end, and our app is now up-and-running with stability at 100%. We thank our members and our community for their patience and ongoing support, and we appreciate their commitment to our vision as we revolutionize the movie industry. We’ve also posted a letter to subscribers on our social media channels and in our app communicating adjustments to the service and our plans for the future.”
Screenshots from the MoviePass app regarding its current major chain outage and avail at Landmark: