Your MoviePass questions, answered

After months of turmoil and speculation, the popular subscription-based movie ticketing service ...

Posted: Aug 3, 2018 9:54 AM
Updated: Aug 3, 2018 9:54 AM

After months of turmoil and speculation, the popular subscription-based movie ticketing service MoviePass appears to be on its last legs.

Subscriptions boomed when MoviePass introduced a flat rate of $9.95 last summer. But majority owner Helios and Matheson Analytics warned in April that it needed more funding, and the stock won't stop falling.

Now MoviePass is raising prices and cutting access to blockbuster movies.

So what's next for the service and how will this affect its subscribers? Here's what we know so far.

1. Is MoviePass going out of business?

To be determined. MoviePass has been burning through cash in recent months paying for the movie tickets of its more than 3 million subscribers.

Analysts have questioned whether it can stay in business. The stock of Helios and Matheson has fallen more than 99% since last fall.

So while MoviePass is technically still in business, the future of the service is in serious doubt.

Related: MoviePass: 'Talk of our demise is greatly exaggerated'

2. Why are MoviePass prices going up?

MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe, however, is much more optimistic about the company's future.

"Today, the company has implemented several elements of a long-term growth plan to protect the existing community and set it up for future sustainable growth," he told CNNMoney in an email.

The "elements" include a price increase to $14.95 a month from $9.95 within the next 30 days.

MoviePass is hoping that this will stem the bleeding. It has been blowing through $20 million to $40 million each month, according to regulatory filings.

3. Why are some movies not available on MoviePass?

This is another cost-cutting measure.

First run films opening on 1,000 or more screens will be limited in their availability for the first two weeks, MoviePass said on Tuesday. It's not clear just how "limited" those films will be to users, but the company did say that big films will be made available on a promotional basis.

Subscribers are already seeing the effects of the new restrictions. "Mission: Impossible — Fallout," which opened last Thursday, was unavailable for some customers over the weekend.

Related: MoviePass introduces surge pricing

4. Why is my MoviePass not working?

MoviePass had a service outage last Thursday because, well, it couldn't pay for tickets.

Helios and Matheson missed a payment to one of its fulfillment processors, and that contractor temporarily refused to process payments for MoviePass. This prompted the company to borrow $5 million in cash to pay its bills.

MoviePass had more outages over the weekend. The company tweeted an apology to its users on Saturday saying that it was "working towards a fix on this technical issue."

Related: MoviePass is raising its price and cutting access to blockbusters

5. What happens if MoviePass goes under?

It's possible that MoviePass could weather its problems, but it will be difficult to bounce back at this point. Lowe told told CNNMoney on Tuesday that the price increase and movie restrictions are "essential" to keeping the service alive for its users.

"Our community of more than 3 million members has shown an immense amount of enthusiasm over the past year, and we trust that they will continue to share our vision to reinvigorate the movie industry," he said.

Even if MoviePass shuts down, the service has already inspired similar deals that appear to be thriving.

AMC Theatres, the largest movie chain in America, announced in June that it was creating its own monthly plan for $20. AMC's service has enrolled 175,000 members after five weeks. That's ahead of expectations, according to the company, which hopes to have 1 million members by June 2020.

6. What does MoviePass have to say about all this?

"Talk of our demise is greatly exaggerated."

That's how MoviePass responded on Thursday to reports of its problems. It also said that it is an industry pioneer that is responsible for as much as 6% of the movie industry's total box office receipts.

"Exhibitors know that without MoviePass they will be able to continue to charge exorbitant prices for theater tickets and gouge customers with overpriced concessions," the company said. "This is exactly the attitude the taxicab industry took when Uber entered their market."

The company did admit that it is "going through a rough patch not unlike what other disruptive enterprises experienced in their early days."

Helios and Matheson stock closed at 10 cents on Thursday.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 88721

Reported Deaths: 2015
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin25628921
Ramsey10410318
Dakota7048125
Anoka5664132
Stearns371523
Washington352655
Scott238633
Olmsted226327
Nobles192616
Blue Earth15786
Wright15087
Carver13307
St. Louis131733
Rice12978
Mower12744
Clay123240
Sherburne107814
Kandiyohi9182
Winona84318
Lyon6384
Steele5162
Freeborn5113
Benton5003
Watonwan4984
Nicollet49616
Todd4732
Le Sueur4434
McLeod4402
Chisago4331
Waseca4258
Crow Wing41918
Otter Tail3794
Beltrami3714
Goodhue3249
Martin3049
Itasca27113
Polk2704
Isanti2440
Becker2422
Pine2390
Douglas2361
Carlton2351
Cottonwood2160
Pipestone2099
Morrison1951
Dodge1900
Chippewa1891
Unassigned18752
Sibley1763
Meeker1712
Wabasha1700
Brown1682
Murray1522
Yellow Medicine1482
Rock1460
Mille Lacs1413
Faribault1300
Redwood1290
Jackson1281
Renville1256
Cass1233
Swift1111
Roseau1100
Pennington1081
Houston1070
Fillmore1050
Kanabec1038
Koochiching1033
Lincoln1010
Stevens911
Pope860
Hubbard760
Aitkin701
Big Stone660
Wadena620
Grant574
Wilkin553
Lake530
Norman510
Marshall481
Mahnomen451
Lac qui Parle430
Red Lake370
Traverse290
Clearwater250
Lake of the Woods201
Kittson120
Cook60

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 79506

Reported Deaths: 1256
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk15227256
Johnson498527
Woodbury494461
Black Hawk433686
Linn3762106
Story327917
Scott276527
Dubuque276040
Dallas267538
Pottawattamie197637
Buena Vista194112
Marshall175934
Sioux13203
Wapello125757
Webster118914
Clinton106218
Muscatine106052
Plymouth103420
Crawford9944
Cerro Gordo99321
Warren9276
Jasper75632
Des Moines7377
Marion7074
Tama68731
Carroll6305
Henry6034
Lee5947
Wright5621
Dickinson4836
Bremer4637
Boone4627
Washington43011
Louisa42515
Mahaska33619
Franklin33517
Delaware3293
Hamilton3143
Floyd2963
Jackson2963
Winneshiek2935
Clay2883
Benton2811
Hardin2761
Winnebago26611
Butler2582
Clarke2553
Emmet25210
Jones2433
Poweshiek2438
Allamakee2425
Shelby2421
Lyon2413
Buchanan2351
Clayton2303
Cedar2191
Guthrie2175
Kossuth2170
Sac2090
Chickasaw2070
Grundy2012
Madison2012
Fayette1871
Cherokee1852
Howard1825
Iowa1821
Mitchell1810
Harrison1772
Hancock1722
Humboldt1713
Calhoun1692
Mills1651
Palo Alto1590
Pocahontas1512
Monroe14610
Page1410
Lucas1386
Jefferson1331
Monona1321
Cass1292
Osceola1250
Appanoose1203
Union1203
Taylor1191
Davis1134
Van Buren1091
Worth1020
Ida960
Keokuk901
Montgomery865
Greene840
Fremont820
Wayne812
Adair641
Audubon591
Decatur580
Ringgold412
Adams280
Unassigned230
Rochester
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 67°
Mason City
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 70°
Albert Lea
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 70°
Austin
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 70°
Charles City
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 68°
Warmer Weather Ahead
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

MORE STUDENTS NOT RETURNING TO COLLEGE

Image

MED CITY ARTS FESTIVAL

Image

ROCHESTER GINSBURG DEATH REACTION

Image

Saturday Weather

Image

What are the benefits of bringing football back to Minnesota this fall?

Image

Candlelight vigil for Prisoners of War

Image

MC Masters National Championship Regatta

Image

Early voting begins in Minnesota

Image

Dooley's Pub closes due to health hazards

Image

Area athletic directors prep to welcome back sports

Community Events