Moviepass “on hiatus” during summer blockbuster season for “maintenance”
The Fourth of July Weekend is always a big one for moviegoing, with tent-poles announced for potential blockbusters (like this year's Spider-Man: Far from Home) years in advance. But those who were hoping to use MoviePass to buy tickets found the service entirely unavailable as it went "on hiatus" on July 4, due to "maintenance issues" with its mobile app. “There’s never a good time to have to do this," said MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe in a statement. "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.” Moviepass will be down for the next several weeks -- at least -- but subscribers will not be charged during the downtime and will automatically be credited for the affected days, according to the company.
According to a Business Insider report, MoviePass' subscriber base fell from 3 million in 2018 to just 225,000 currently, losing 90% of its base. MoviePass disputed the numbers but did not provide stats of their own. The drop occurred when MoviePass implemented a new monthly subscription plan that drastically reduced not only the number of movies you could see in a month, but the movie options available as well. Variety reports that Helios and Matheson, the parent company of MoviePass, more than doubled its net loss in 2018, losing $329.3 million against a revenue of $232.3 million.
MoviePass launched a new, more expensive "unlimited plan" this spring, but there are more competitors -- including services launched by movie chains like Regal and Alamo Drafthouse -- than ever. Stay tuned.