NEWS

No More Drama: MoviePass to Shut Down for Good

No More Drama: MoviePass to Shut Down for Good

It looks like the curtain has fallen for good on MoviePass.

Helios & Matheson Analytics Inc., owner of the pioneering movie-theater subscription service, is considering a sale and other options after suspending its operations two months ago. A board committee will “identify, review and explore all strategic and financial alternatives,” including a sale of MoviePass and Moviefone, the company said Friday.

The announcement brings to a close a two-year saga that shook the cinema industry with a monthly subscription that offered unlimited moviegoing for one low price.

Led by penny stock investor Ted Farnsworth and former Netflix executive Mitch Lowe, MoviePass was unable to keep up with the demand it created with its $10-a-month plan or profitably offer a service that effectively subsidized moviegoing. Still MoviePass helped boost attendance, and theater owners across the country took notice.

“The company is unable to predict if or when the MoviePass service will continue,” Helios said.

The service spurred leaders like AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. to offer their own subscriptions, while MoviePass’s precarious finances forced the service to continually cut back and find ways to stay afloat. The July shutdown was called an effort to revamp its app and recapitalize.

Farnsworth has a string of ventures behind him, from psychic phone lines to energy drinks, some of which lost all their value. At one point, Helios shares advanced 1,151%. Today it trades below a penny.

The company is being investigated by the New York Attorney General for securities fraud and faces class action lawsuits.

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