×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

MoviePass Sells to Helios and Matheson Analytics

MoviePass, a company that aims to be the Netflix of movie theaters, has sold a majority stake to Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc., a publicly traded data firm. A purchase price was not disclosed.

As part of the deal, MoviePass also announced it is overhauling its pricing model. It will now enable customers to see movie a day in a theater for a $9.95 monthly fee. The company said there will be no blackout dates and no contract is necessary. The new subscription will not include tickets for 3D or IMAX showings). In the past MoviePass offered a tiered pricing model, with plans ranging from $14.95 to nearly $50 a month.

“This is about getting funded in order to launch our new price point,” said Mitch Lowe, the company’s CEO. “After years of studying and analysis we found that people want to go to the movies more often, but the pricing keeps going up, and that prevents them from going more. We’re making it more affordable for people.”

The service is available in over 91% of all theaters in the U.S., including AMC, Regal and Cinemark theaters along with independent theaters. MoviePass does not publicly disclose its subscriber numbers.

Popular on Variety

MoviePass has struggled to gain traction in the industry and has often been met with ambivalence, even antipathy by theater owners. Established in 2011, it has gone through several iterations and has failed to get Hollywood to buy its sales pitch. The company claims it boosts attendance by 111% and that its customers buy more concessions. But exhibitors have preferred to bolster their own loyalty programs instead of aligning themselves with the service. Despite its ambitions to disrupt the industry, MoviePass remains little known.

Lowe, a Netflix co-founder and former Redbox president, has led the company since June 2016. He will remain in charge along with Stacy Spikes, MoviePass co-founder. They plan to add to their nine-person staff, particularly in the sales and technology areas.

Lowe said the company works by buying movie theater tickets for its subscribers directly from exhibitors at whatever price they offer. MoviePass is operating at a loss and subsidizing its users with the hope that at some point it will successfully demonstrate to studios and theater owners that it is growing their customer base. After demonstrating its value, he hopes MoviePass will be cut in on the profits.

“We’re hoping that if we can drive a meaningful increase in attendance we can share in that success,” said Lowe.

It’s been a bruising summer for the exhibition industry. Ticket sales are down more than 12% year-over-year, and the stock price of AMC and Regal have been battered by declining admissions. Lowe believes that gives MoviePass more leverage. He notes the company is popular among millennials, a demographic weaned on streaming services, and one that has fallen out of the habit of going to cinemas. Seventy five percent of MoviePass’s user base falls in that age range.

“We serve Millennials who have grown up with Netflix and other subscription models,” said Lowe. “They like that model.”

More Film

  • The Banker

    Apple Delays 'The Banker' Release Amid Review of Family Accusations

    Apple is delaying the theatrical release of “The Banker,” originally set for Dec. 6 with assistance from Bleecker Street, insiders familiar with the company said. It’s being delayed as the filmmakers review accusations of historical inaccuracy and sexual abuse at the hands of co-producer Bernard Garrett Jr. The film was also set to premiere on [...]

  • Alex Ginno Fully Formed

    Brad Fuller and Andrew Form's Fully Formed Taps Alex Ginno as Head of Film (EXCLUSIVE)

    Alex Ginno has joined Brad Fuller and Andrew Form’s Fully Formed as head of film. The company has a three-year first-look deal with Paramount, where they recently wrapped production on “A Quiet Place: Part II” and are currently prepping Season 3 of the hit show “Jack Ryan” for Amazon. The second season recently bowed, with [...]

  • Queen and Slim soundtrack

    Album Review: 'Queen & Slim: The Soundtrack'

    “Queen & Slim,” the film, traffics in sudden tragedy and symbolic terror as it portrays the violence of self-defense and self-awareness in stark, painful terms. It deserves an equally audacious score and soundtrack, a job that has gone to another Devonté Hynes, the British singer, songwriter, guitarist, record producer and director in his guise of Blood [...]

  • Michael Jackson in concert in Milton

    Michael Jackson Music Biopic in the Works From 'Bohemian Rhapsody' Producer

    “Bohemian Rhapsody” producer Graham King has struck a deal with the Michael Jackson estate for the pop star’s life and music rights, with plans to make a feature film based on both. King has tapped “Gladiator” and “The Aviator” screenwriter John Logan for the project. The film currently has no studio or distributor attached. The [...]

  • Michael J. Pollard Dead

    Michael J. Pollard, 'Bonnie and Clyde' and 'House of 1000 Corpses' Actor, Dies at 80

    Academy Award nominee Michael J. Pollard, known for his roles in “Bonnie and Clyde” and “House of 1000 Corpses,” has died. He was 80. “House of 1000 Corpses” director Rob Zombie broke the news on Facebook early Friday morning. “We have lost another member of our ‘House of 1000 Corpses’ family. I woke up to [...]

  • Jonathan Pryce

    Jonathan Pryce on Early Roles, Reading Reviews and Advice He Got From Lee Strasberg

    Jonathan Pryce, who has done memorable work for 40-plus years, hits a career high in “The Two Popes,” a complex look at Francis, played by Pryce, and Benedict, portrayed by Anthony Hopkins. Though Pryce has played well-known figures before, such as Juan Perón in the 1996 “Evita,” he was hesitant to take on Pope Francis [...]

  • Tracy Letts Ford V Ferrari

    Tracy Letts on His Writing Routine and His Roles in 'Ford v Ferrari,' 'Little Women'

    Tracy Letts says he’s driven by the need to tell stories that showcase humanity. It’s a need that earned him a 2008 Pulitzer Prize for “August: Osage County” and led to his current Broadway play, “Linda Vista,” about a 50-year-old divorcé (played by Ian Barford) in the midst of a midlife crisis. Letts also brings the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content