There are few more creative failures than that of MoviePass, the moviegoing subscription service that was too deranged an idea not to fail. Now, a year and a half after shuttering for good, it’s finally getting what it deserves: a scandalous documentary.
As per Deadline, Mark Wahlberg’s Unrealistic Ideas, the company that produced the HBO doc series McMillions, is doing the same for MoviePass. The source will be Insider (formerly Business Insider) reporter Jason Guerrasio’s award-winning coverage of how the company’s sudden rise and epic fall, albeit one that wound up changing the movie theater industry entirely, forcing chains to adopt a similar (albeit far more sustainable) subscription service. (That is, until the pandemic hit.)
MoviePass bowed in 2011, but it wasn’t until 2017, when they changed their business model, that it really took off. The service offered something that seemed too good to be true: For a mere $9.95 a month you could see unlimited movies, at major chains (and, in cities, many art house and even repertory theaters).
What was the catch? Turned out it wasn’t the customer who was ultimately screwed but the owners of MoviePass, who eventually discovered they couldn’t pay for half the country to go see, say, Avengers: Infinity War. By the time Mission: Impossible — Fallout arrived in the summer of 2018, subscribers were suddenly finding they couldn’t use the service to pay for their tickets. And thus began one of the most publicized and most costly fallouts, if you will, in recent business memory. In other words, it should make for amazing television.