×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

MoviePass Hikes Subscription Fees, Limits Access to Films

MoviePass, the beleaguered subscription service that once had ambitions to revolutionize moviegoing, is instead making a Hail Mary pass as it struggles to survive.

The company is strapped for cash and has introduced a series of measures that it hopes will keep itself solvent. They include jacking up the prices from $9.99 to $14.95 per month over the next 30 days, as well as limiting access to nearly all Hollywood blockbusters within their first two weeks of release. The company’s parent company, Helios and Matheson, said these steps will reduce its cash burn rate by 60%.

But the company still faces major questions about its sustainability. On Friday, MoviePass borrowed $6.2 million, including $5 million in cash, in order to stay afloat and meet its financial obligations. Beginning on Wednesday, its creditor can ask MoviePass to pay up to $3.1 million of the money it borrowed.

Since slashing its prices last August from as much as $50 to just under $10, MoviePass has enjoyed a surge of interest. Its subscriber rolls at the time were roughly 20,000, but by December that number had increased to nearly one million. Currently, the company says it has 3 million customers.

MoviePass’ business model has raised eyebrows. The company subsidizes movie-going, paying full price for many of the tickets its customers purchase using a MasterCard-enabled device. That means it is operating at a substantial loss. MoviePass has maintained that it can make money by exploiting the data it collects on users and can sell advertising. It has also signed deals with some exhibitors, which has enabled them to get better deals on tickets in return for promoting their screenings.

Popular on Variety

As MoviePass has struggled to keep the lights on, customers have complained about outages that have prevented them from buying tickets to popular films such as “Mission: Impossible – Fallout.”

Helios and Matheson’s stock fell 1.41% to 79 cents. shortly after the pricing changes were announced. In October, shares of the company reached a high of $32.90.

More Film

  • The Island

    ‘The Island,’ ‘Calamity,’ 'Piano Player' Highlight Cartoon Movie 2020 Lineup (EXCLUSIVE)

    BARCELONA – Rémi Chayé’s “Calamity, a Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary,” Anca Damian’s “The Island,” Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal’s “They Shot the Piano Player,” and Enrique Gato’s “Tad the Lost Explorer and the Curse of the Mummy” are among the sixty-six projects from twenty countries to be pitched at the 22nd Cartoon Movie, Europe’s [...]

  • Kirby Dick Amy Ziering

    'On The Record,' Russell Simmons #MeToo Doc, Charts Course to Sundance After Oprah Exit

    Update: A spokesperson for Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering says the filmmaking team will participate in print and broadcast interviews at the Sundance film festival. The accusers featured in the film are weighing press options at this time. Earlier, a spokesperson for the film “On The Record” confirmed to Variety that only photo calls would [...]

  • Ariel Winograd'TOD@S CAEN' film premiere, Los

    Viacom International Studios Signs First Look Deal with Ariel Winograd (EXCLUSIVE)

    MADRID  — Adding to a powerful and still growing talent roster, Viacom International Studios (VIS) has clinched a first-look deal with Argentine writer-director Ariel Winograd whose latest movie, “The Heist of the Century,” has just become one of the biggest Argentine openers in history. The multi-year pact takes in the development and production of not [...]

  • William Bogert Dead: 'Small Wonder' Actor

    William Bogert, Who Appeared in 'War Games,' 'Small Wonder,' Dies at 83

    TV, film and theater actor William Bogert, who appeared in a recurring role on 1980s sitcom “Small Wonder” and in films such as “War Games,” died Jan. 12 in New York. He was 83. On “Small Wonder,” which ran from 1985 to 1989, Bogert played Brandon Brindle, the Lawsons’ neighbor and Harriet’s father who became [...]

  • 1917 Movie

    Why '1917' Is the Last Film That Should Be Winning the Oscar (Column)

    There’s a feeling I always get at the end of a long Oscar night when the movie that won isn’t a terrible choice, but it’s the safe, blah, MOR predictable choice, the one that conforms to the dullest conventional wisdom about the kinds of movies Oscar voters prefer, because in the core of their being [...]

  • Civil Rights Drama 'Praying for Sheetrock'

    Civil Rights Drama 'Praying for Sheetrock' in the Works as Feature Film (EXCLUSIVE)

    Enderby Entertainment is developing a feature film based on Melissa Fay Greene’s civil rights drama “Praying for Sheetrock,” Variety has learned exclusively. The non-fiction book, published in 1991, was a finalist for the National Book Award and won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize, Georgia Historical Society Bell Award and the ACLU National Civil [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content