What better idiom to apply to MoviePass than, “Too good to be true?” The moment the company announced their new price of $9.95 a month back in August of 2017, “too good to be true” was the only way to describe it. Paying $9.95 a month for unlimited movies when MoviePass was responsible for paying the theaters the full prices of the tickets sold was so obviously unsustainable.
It’s your prerogative to take advantage of an opportunity like that, and many did, bringing the subscriber base up to a whopping 3 million users by June of 2018. If you were one of them, I hope you enjoyed it while it lasted because, as expected, MoviePass became plagued by financial issues that then led to even more poor business practices, many of which are described by Business Insider in an in-depth expose on the doomed company. You do need a subscription in order to read the full piece, but /Film has shared a few alarming highlights.
First up, have you ever forgotten a password and needed help from customer support in order to resolve the issue? Well, if this happened to you while using MoviePass, there’s a chance the company changed your password – on purpose. In an effort to curtail costs, MoviePass reportedly targeted frequent “power users” and changed their passwords.
Remember when one of the hottest releases of 2018, Mission: Impossible – Fallout wasn’t available on MoviePass? The company tweeted that they were “working on a fix towards this technical issue.” But the truth of the matter is, the company ran out of money in July of 2018 and borrowed $5 million to keep the operation alive. CEO Mitch Lowe then decided not only to make Fallout entirely unavailable but, according to former employees, he also had half of the subscribers frozen out of the service the weekend the movie hit theaters.
Somehow MoviePass is still in operation but as /Film points out in their piece, “a compliance counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice told Business Insider that MoviePass’s behavior is ‘certainly unethical and could be illegal,’ so it seems as if the company’s days are numbered.”
If you’d like to hear more about the MoviePass meltdown, check out the latest episode of Movie Talk at the top of this article! On today’s show, the team also discusses the nine-figure deal David Benioff and D.B. Weiss just scored over at Netflix.
Tune in for Collider Movie Talk every day, Monday through Friday, at 3pm PT live on the Collider Video YouTube channel!