×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

MoviePass Owner Hits Back at Reports Service Is Dying

MoviePass’ stock has tanked in recent days on concerns about a cash shortage.

In an interview at the Cannes Film Festival, Ted Farnsworth, head of MoviePass’ parent company Helios & Matheson Analytics, said the subscription service has roughly $300 million available to it from an equity line of credit. The Helios chief is in the South of France to premiere “Gotti,” the John Travolta crime movie that MoviePass is releasing in conjunction with Vertical Entertainment.

“There’s been a feeding frenzy of negativity, but it’s not going to slow us down,” said Farnsworth. “I’m not worried at all. You’re going to see. We’re doing more acquisitions of movies and companies.”

MoviePass faces its share of skeptics. In a public filing last week, MoviePass disclosed it had $15.5 million in available cash — less than it traditionally spends to finance ticket buying on a monthly basis. Shares of parent Helios & Matheson Analytics slid 17¢ on Thursday to 61¢, a 22% decline and the second-lowest close for the stock since the company went public in 1997. Wall Street may have cooled on the service, but Farnsworth hit back, saying, “We’ve got 17 months’ worth of cash without further raises of capital.”

MoviePass allows users to see a movie-a-day for $9.95 a month. That means that it loses money on many of its customers. In order to work, MoviePass pays theaters full price for the tickets its subscribers buy, but in major markets such as New York and Los Angeles, tickets cost as much as $15 a pop. MoviePass said it expects users will stop seeing as many films over time and will eventually see less than two movies a month.

Farnsworth was particularly annoyed with comments made by AMC Theaters chief Adam Aron, who told analysts that he had calculated that MoviePass users were attending the theater multiple times a month and expressed skepticism that the company had been able reduce attendance to the levels it needs to remain profitable. When MoviePass slashed it prices last summer to $9.95 and saw its subscriber levels rise, Aron dismissed the service and said its model was unsustainable.

“They’re trying to put us out of business,” said Farnsworth. “We’ve become a serious threat.”

The Helios CEO said that he was finalizing a major acquisition in the coming days that will be announced at the Cannes Film Festival.

“It’s going to be substantial,” said Farnsworth. “People are going to go, ‘Hmm how did they pull it off?'”

More Film

  • 'Shazam!' Review: Zachary Levi is Pure

    Film Review: 'Shazam!'

    In “Shazam!,” Zachary Levi brings off something so winning it’s irresistible. He plays a square-jawed, rippling-muscled man of might, with a cheesy Day-Glo lighting bolt affixed to his chest, who projects an insanely wholesome and old-fashioned idea of what a superhero can be. But he’s also playing a breathless teenage kid on the inside, and [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Showrunners, Screenwriters Back WGA in Agency Battle, Sides to Meet Again Tuesday

    More than 750 showrunners and screenwriters have backed the WGA’s battle against talent agencies taking packaging fees and other changes to the rules governing the business relationship between agents and writers. The letter of support issued Saturday is significant because of the immense clout showrunners and prominent screenwriters possess in Hollywood. Several showrunners had recently [...]

  • Doppelgänger Red (Lupita Nyong'o) and Adelaide

    Box Office: 'Us' on Track for Second-Highest Debut of 2019 With $67 Million

    Jordan Peele’s “Us” is on its way to scaring up one of the biggest debuts of 2019, with an estimated $67 million from 3,741 North American locations. Should estimates hold, “Us” will be able to claim several milestones: the highest debut for an original horror movie (the biggest launch for any horror pic goes to [...]

  • NF_D_JGN-D6-2160.cr2

    Film Review: 'The Dirt'

    A long time ago, the words sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll carried a hint of danger. The lifestyle did, too, but I’m talking about the phrase. It used to sound cool (back around the time the word “cool” sounded cool). But sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll has long since passed into the realm [...]

  • James Newton Howard Danny Elfman

    New Trend in Concert Halls: Original Music by Movie Composers — No Film Required

    Movie and TV composers are in greater demand than ever for, surprisingly, new music for the concert hall. For decades, concert commissions for film composers were few and far between. The increasing popularity of John Williams’ film music, and his visibility as conductor of the Boston Pops in the 1980s and ’90s, led to his [...]

  • Idris Elba Netflix 'Turn Up Charlie'

    Idris Elba in Talks to Join Andy Serkis in 'Mouse Guard'

    Idris Elba is in negotiations to join Andy Serkis and Thomas Brodie-Sangster in Fox’s fantasy-action movie “Mouse Guard” with “Maze Runner’s” Wes Ball directing. Fox is planning a live-action movie through performance capture technology employed in the “Planet of the Apes” films, in which Serkis starred as the ape leader Caesar. David Peterson created, wrote, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content