After shutting down back in February 2019 following a series of problems that ranged from a feud with AMC Theaters to abruptly suspending its app for a week after burning through too much venture capital that it could no longer afford the way too-good-to-be-true deal it was offering subscribers, MoviePass has updated its website with a countdown that ends on Monday, March 22 and a message that simply says, “The movie is about to start.”
It’s an odd development given MoviePass’ infamous crash and burn is still fresh in people’s minds, and the fact that theaters are in complete disarray after a full year of shutdowns from the pandemic. Perhaps that’s the perfect time for MoviePass to return as the entire industry reevaluates its business model, or perhaps the movie ticket app raised enough cash to attempt its wild, loss-leading operations all over again. Either way, people don’t how to react. Some are excited at the prospect of walking back into theaters with a pocket full of cheap passes while others remember how the MoviePass debacle went down the last time.
The dead speak! https://t.co/nXepeR9oPR
— Damien V. ✪ (@TorturedXGenius) March 16, 2021
— Mike Sampson (@mjsamps) March 16, 2021
A reminder that this is the same company that seemed to good to be true, and it was, and even those seeking to simply ride the wave were unable to cancel their accounts when Moviepass inevitably collapsed.
Anyway, can’t wait to see what they do next! https://t.co/i7O1ZZwanz
— Matt Goldberg (@MattGoldberg) March 16, 2021
— Michelle Jaworski (@michejaw) March 16, 2021
— matt everitt (@TheMattEveritt) March 16, 2021
And, of course, there are concerns about the rush to reopen theaters while the pandemic is still very much not over.
I realize the vaccination progress is encouraging but this nation is deeply fuckin unserious. “ah, 20 percent of people have the jab? let’s start getting them in enclosed spaces again!” https://t.co/iLDqNpYpop
— adrian 2: still postin’ (@CrawfinUSA) March 16, 2021
For a brief while, MoviePass was a movie lover’s dream come true. For roughly $10 a month, users could plow through a list of screenings at their local theater. It was a cinematic buffet, but it was also completely untenable, which is why it wasn’t a total surprise when the app finally folded.
Via The Verge:
Customers complained about not being able to receive refunds, while others said MoviePass was opting them into new subscription plans after canceling their accounts, and even charging their credit cards without notice. The unlimited plan disappeared, then came back with severe restrictions. The stock was tanking, and the company kept hemorrhaging cash. Investors sued Helios and Matheson. Customers began congregating on Reddit to discuss suing MoviePass, too, over the company’s mercurial terms of service. Some users filed a suit, and another group filed a second one a few months later.
However, MoviePass said that it would seek new funding and eventually return. Apparently, that time is now, so it’ll be interesting to see what part MoviePass plays in the reopening of cinemas across the country.