More troubling news for MoviePass. Variety reports that the ticketing app frequently beset with setbacks will be shut down, citing “maintenance-related issues.” The shutdown went into effect at 5 a.m. ET on July 4. It’s unclear when the shutdown will end but it could take weeks as the company addresses pressing technical issues with the company’s app.
Concerns about accessing the app were raised on Twitter earlier this week. In a tweet dated July 3, MoviePass responded to one person asking if the app has shut down with the following on the company Twitter:
Due to maintenance related issues, MoviePass services have been put on a temporary hold. Once we have resolved these technical problems, the service will be live again. We estimate this process will take several weeks. We sincerely appreciate your patience.
A statement from MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe offers apologies for the inconvenience to subscribers. As shared to Variety, Lowe commented, “There’s never a good time to have to do this. 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.”
Further investigation into the shutdown shows that the MoviePass official site is also down until further notice. The site hints that MoviePass will be re-tooling their service offerings to make for a better subscriber experience. The message on the site currently reads:
For the past several months, MoviePass has been working hard to improve our groundbreaking subscription service to ensure it meets the vision that we have for it. We are temporarily not accepting new subscribers as we work on these improvements.
The shutdown is unfortunate for a number of reasons but perhaps the worst at the moment is that it is happening during one of the biggest weekends for movie theaters everywhere. Chances are also good this shutdown will hinder more than help rehabilitate public opinion of MoviePass’s viability as a ticketing service. MoviePass’s popularity has been in steep decline, with BusinessInsider reporting in April subscriptions had dropped from 3 million to 225,000 in just under a year. It’s a shocking decline in so short a time. with the drop likely stemming from negative changes made by the company in 2018, including restricting which movies subscribers can see and clumsily handling subscription issues.
Variety’s report on the shutdown also alleges there are new funding issues which may be at play in this shutdown but no official statement has been offered by the company on that issue.