Skip to main content

Filed under:

The struggles of MoviePass, the film subscription service

Share this story

When MoviePass was first founded in 2011, it had a relatively simple business model: a subscription service for theatrically released movies, where members would pay a monthly fee in exchange for a kind of all-you-can-eat buffet of movies. The idea was to bring theaters on board with a profit-sharing system that would benefit both the theaters and the service. But theater chains were immediately resistant, and MoviePass’ experiments with various pricing tiers — some as much as $50 a month — only drew small numbers of subscribers.

But shortly after analytics firm Helios and Matheson acquired a majority stake in the company in August 2017, MoviePass dropped its monthly rate below $10 for a subscription that offered users one movie ticket per day. The gambit brought in millions of subscribers, which CEO Mitch Lowe openly hoped would force theaters to cooperate with the company. Since then, MoviePass has undergone a wide variety of public experiments in revenue generation, as it tries to disrupt the movie industry without going bankrupt. Follow along with the latest MoviePass news here.