Helios & Matheson Analytics shares, which were delisted by the Nasdaq after missteps by its MoviePass unit, have soared 40% in over-the-counter trading today after the company again updated its strategy for tackling the movie business.
The stock reached the final minutes of the over-the-counter trading day at 1.23 cents, with triple the normal volume of shares changing hands.
Helios, which plans to form a new, separately traded entity called MoviePass Entertainment Holdings, said its new plan calls for a reliance on three main pillars. They are: production arm MoviePass Films; the data-centric MoviePass subscription ticketing app; and Moviefone, the digital brand it acquired last year from Verizon.
The new model “prioritizes self-generated revenues without dependence on studios or exhibitors,” the company said in a press release. It envisions a virtuous circle in which more projects are funded by MoviePass Films productions (which will increasingly look to transcend theaters and strike home video, retail, transactional and international distribution deals). That will then enable the MoviePass subscription service to grow, with both arms in turn promoted by Moviefone.
Working together “in a much more interconnected fashion,” the units will share resources across each company, the announcement said. “By seeking to generate new revenues and profit centers within our own ecosystem, we believe we can accelerate our overall growth in the U.S. market.”
The highs and lows of MoviePass over the past two years are the stuff of a business-school case study. After introducing a $10-a-month subscription plan permitting members to see up to a movie a day, the company burned through cash as it sped past 3 million members.
Last summer, MoviePass suffered widespread outages and a PR nightmare as it struggled to secure large blocks of tickets to satisfy audience demand and ultimately . Eventually, to many subscribers’ consternation, it was forced to update its terms to make certain current film titles ineligible. Then, late last year, it announced a return to more films being available, albeit as part of a multi-tiered subscription plan.
Meanwhile, with shares plunging after the once-highflying tech outfit revealed a cash crunch, executives tried in vain to execute successful reverse stock splits, and rival exhibitors like AMC and Cinemark got traction with their own subscription plans. Along the way, the company has continued to announce major investments as a film financier and as the majority owner of what used to be known as Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films.