Subscription movie ticket platform MoviePass is temporarily suspending its service to complete work on an improved version of its mobile app. The suspension went into effect at 2AM PT today and the company did not provide a projected return to service. In a statement, MoviePass also said the company plans to use this time to recapitalize “in order to facilitate a seamless transition and improved subscriber experience” when the product comes back online. Visitors to the ticketer’s website see a note that begins: “Big changes are coming.”
The moves come after MoviePass has endured turbulent times. In March this year, parent company Helios & Matheson Analytics, restated the financial results it previously reported for the quarter ending last September 30 to reflect lower revenue and a wider net loss. Today’s news also follows word that Regal Cinemas is prepping to launch its own three-tiered unlimited subscription service at the end of July, which Deadline exclusively reported earlier this week.
Of the suspension, MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe allowed, “There’s never a good time to have to do this. But to complete the improved version of our app, one that we believe will provide a much better experience for our subscribers, it has to be done.”
During the interruption, no subscribers will be charged, and will be automatically credited for the number of affected days once the service is running again. Also during this period, no new subscribers will be enrolled.
In a letter to subscribers, Lowe said that MoviePass has been “working hard” to improve its service “to ensure it meets its ultimate vision.”
“We have listened and we understand the frustrations of our subscribers,” Lowe said. “To provide the level of service you deserve and we can be proud of, we need to improve our mobile app. We plan to make this improvement by utilizing an enhanced technology platform, which is in the final stages of completion,” he continued.
MoviePass has experimented with a range of subscription schemes in recent months, and in March rolled out an “uncapped” movie-per-day plan.
One of the strategic steps that led to problems for the company last year was its decision to offer nearly unlimited moviegoing for just $10 a month. As the number of subscribers ballooned into the millions, the company was forced to procure blocks of expensive tickets in order to fulfill subscriber orders. That quickly burned a lot of cash, and the company also said fraudulent use of the app worsened the damage.