MoviePass is coming back. Its timing couldn’t be worse

Aug 24, 2022, 10:17 AM | Updated: Aug 30, 2022, 11:25 am
MoviePass, the revolutionary movie ticketing service, which sent shock waves through Hollywood in 2...
MoviePass, the revolutionary movie ticketing service, which sent shock waves through Hollywood in 2017 before collapsing in 2019, has risen from the dead after its co-founder, Stacy Spikes, bought the company out of bankruptcy in November. (Darron Cummings/AP Images via CNN)
(Darron Cummings/AP Images via CNN)

(CNN) — Hollywood loves a comeback story, and MoviePass, one of the industry’s most notorious flops, is trying to write one of the most epic sequels in history.

The revolutionary movie ticketing service, which sent shock waves through Hollywood in 2017 before collapsing in 2019, has risen from the dead after its co-founder, Stacy Spikes, bought the company out of bankruptcy in November.

Spikes has plans to get the service up and running again “on or around September 5th,” according to its website. Details remain scarce, but the company says the new MoviePass will have three pricing tiers that, depending on market, will cost $10, $20 or $30.

“Each level will get a certain amount of credits to be able to use towards movies each month,” the website said. “More details to come.”

Spikes helped found MoviePass before being pushed out in 2018 after selling the company to now-defunct analytics firm Helios and Matheson. He held a presentation in New York in February, during which he announced the relaunch and acknowledged “a lot of people lost money, a lot of people lost trust” after MoviePass went belly-up, according to Variety.

Rebuilding trust is just one of the many challenges MoviePass faces as it makes its return in the coming weeks.

Lots of movie theater plans, not a lot of movies

One of the biggest roadblocks is that MoviePass is coming back at arguably the worst possible time.

Movie chains, including AMC, Regal and Alamo Drafthouse, have embraced their own versions of the subscription model that MoviePass ushered in. Trying to break into moviegoers’ wallets this time around may be difficult.

Consumers today might have a bit of subscription fatigue, considering the litany of streaming services and other bundles they pay for. Not to mention four-decade-high inflation, which has many Americans reining in discretionary purchases, such as going out to the movies.

Even for those who have the cash to spend on something like MoviePass, the movie marketplace is wildly different than it was when the company last existed.

The domestic box office is down 31% this year compared to the same point in 2019, prior to the pandemic. That’s considerably better than 2021, but still not all the way back to “normal.”

Although many moviegoers have returned to theaters, movies by and large haven’t. The number of major releases — films that open in 2,000 or more theaters — is down a whopping 43% compared to 2019, according to Comscore.

Of course, there’s still a lot of films being produced and released, but many are either being held up by supply chain issues in Hollywood or heading directly to streaming. For example, the next big blockbuster, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” won’t be released until November.

If the point of MoviePass is to allow movie lovers to see a lot of films on the cheap, the service only really makes sense if there are a lot of movies to see.

“The stuff dreams are made of”

In the summer of 2017, MoviePass caught fire with consumers with an irresistible “too good to be true” offer: $10 to see one movie a day for an entire month.

The service rapidly grew to 3 million subscribers in less than a year. But MoviePass’ business model was at best unsustainable — and at worst nonexistent.

The company burned through cash and shut down two years after bursting on the scene.

Now it’s back, and the question around Hollywood is: will MoviePass, and its new leadership, finally achieve its Hollywood ending? Can it create a sustainable business that could change the movie landscape forever?

Time will tell, but so far, the story of MoviePass is less “show me the money” and more “the stuff dreams are made of.”

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

Associated Press

CDC drops traveler health notices for individual countries

The CDC is doing away with notices about the COVID-19 risk of visiting specific countries.
1 day ago
WILMINGTON, NC - SEPTEMBER 23: Former President Donald Trump arrives at a Save America Rally at the...
Associated Press

Trump files $475 million defamation lawsuit against CNN

Former President Donald Trump has gone to court against CNN, a familiar target when he was president.
1 day ago
Search crews in Florida....
Mike Anderson

Rescue teams continue to find residents effected by Hurricane Ian

Search teams are helping oversee FEMA's efforts to search for those survivors, which is no easy task.
1 day ago
FILE photo...
REBECCA BOONE Associated Press

Idaho ordered to pay $2.5M to transgender inmate for legal fees

A federal judge has ordered Idaho and its prison medical care provider to pay more than $2.5 million in legal fees to a transgender inmate who sued after she was denied gender confirmation surgery.
1 day ago
surveillance image of possible shooter...
Associated Press

Killings of 5 men in California are related, police say

Rewards totaling $85,000 have been offered for information leading to an arrest in five fatal shootings since July in Stockton, California, that investigators believe are related.
1 day ago
OREM, UT - FEBRUARY 21: A bump stock is installed on an AK-47 at Good Guys Gun and Range on Februar...
Associated Press

Supreme Court rejects bump stock ban cases, one from Utahn

The Supreme Court says it won't take up two cases that involved challenges to a ban enacted during the Trump administration on bump stocks. Those are the gun attachments that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly like machine guns.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
MoviePass is coming back. Its timing couldn’t be worse