Posted by William Charles on July 7, 2019
Misc

Published on July 7th, 2019 | by William Charles

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MoviePass To Go “Dark” (Unusable) For Weeks To Update App

Since Thursday movie subscription service MoviePass has been unusable, MoviePass is saying that this is because they need to update the app. CEO Mitch Lowe said:

“There’s never a good time to have to do this…” “But to complete the improved version of our app, one that we believe will provide a much better experience for our subscribers, it has to be done.”

MoviePass did say that existing members will be credited for the downtime and MoviePass is also not allowing new users to sign up for the service during this period. It does seem odd that updates to the app can’t be made while the service is still usable, so I wonder if there is more at play here than what MoviePass is saying officially. MoviePass has constantly struggled with these types of issues.

Hat tip to reader Amy



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CO
CO

Lol no company with a profitable business model would “go dark” more than a day for a system upgrade

AndreRamirez
AndreRamirez

MoviePass’s parent company (Helios and Matheson) had a stock price of $5100 per share at its peak in October 2017.

It is now worth .25 cents. Not 25 cents. .25 cents, or 1/4th of a penny. I have a feeling these types of shutdowns are related to putting out fires moreso than anything else.

Insight
Insight

That’s because of several reverse stock splits, the stock was never actually that high

Lrdx
Lrdx

Including these reverse splits is still the accurate representation.

Gigabyte
Gigabyte

I believe the reverse split in shares made it appear as if the stock price was super high. I picked up alot of shares from HMNY in June 2018. Now I have just a very small fraction of what I received after the reverse split.

Hari
Hari

Reverse Splits. I remember it peaked around $36

Frank
Frank

They are trying to stockpile cash (possibly ahead of bankruptcy)

G
G

Isn’t it weird that it has gone dark on the busiest weekend of the summer? Coincidence? I call shenanigans on this one.

PJ
PJ

I tried to use it on Friday and saw that message. I’m sure they can keep the existing app operable, while upgrading, shady to say the least.

Mike
Mike

I have developed mobile apps. What they are saying is complete and utter nonsense.

Far more likely is that (assuming they have to pay the theaters for the tickets) they are trying to cut all spending immediately, as another commenter alluded to. I would suspect that the financial situation may be grim.

Daniel
Daniel

It’s basically a lie. Apps get updated regularly, no need for downtime. Notice that they don’t even both to get into a real time frame or sense of what will change.

Sevillada
Sevillada

In my experience, when companies go dark, they don’t go back. They do it to avoid instant outcry (and have it gradually)

Parkerthon
Parkerthon

They lost 90% of their subscribers, so yeah company is in free fall due to severe pricing sustainability issues. That Indian company that bought them completely destroyed them with the push to 9.99 pricing(and lower). They thought they could move the market to their will overnight by simply making up losses in volume but they didn’t do the financial math right. Plus the movie theater chains didn’t cooperate to them becoming dominant and so it went. Complete unchecked hubris here.

JDubs
JDubs

RIP

Bobb
Bobb

So here is an 8k filing from Oct 4th.

Hmny converted several notes into a new non-convertible notes worth $20m due to Hudson Bay. However, if they pay off the note within 90 days they only have to pay back $10m. Go to day 91 and only $20m is accepted.

When is this day 90? July 4th.

I don’t think it’s coincidental.

Link if you want to read it. https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1040792/000121390018013497/f8k100318_heliosandmatheson.htm

Joseph Badaro
Joseph Badaro

If people still have MoviePass subscription I’m confused on why. This company has literally done everything in the book to no longer have any customers.

Captainsave
Captainsave

Paid $30 say 21 movies 🤷🏻‍♂️

Jason Smith
Jason Smith

Al long as they have gullible people like PJ above who are still willing to pay them, they will stay in existence.

Pj
Pj

Lol. A movie ticket costs about $14-$15, as long as I saw a movie a month I was and still am more than happy to pay $10

CashMan
CashMan

Silicon Valley, the HBO sitcom, had an episode last season that I’m pretty sure was a parody of these movie subscription services that spelled out how insane their business model was. On the show the company was a pizza delivery app called “SliceLine” that was purchasing pizzas from existing services (i.e., Dominos) and then selling them at a loss to their own customers. Richard (the main character) figured this out and bankrupted them by arranging an evening of thousands of orders that forced them to spend down their capital. Essentially, MoviePass and Sinemia were operating the same way – purchasing a product from an existing company and selling it to consumers at a loss. How they thought this business model could ever succeed is beyond me.

SamL
SamL

They wanted to occupy a niche in the market that no-one else had taken.

Won't use Moviepass again
Won't use Moviepass again

MoviePass is not honest. The company contradicts their emails. Mitch and Sven told me my plan didn’t change, and they would notify me if it did. Sven advised me I would receive an email if it did. A month later, I was told the plan changed, and I needed to check the app. MoviePass advised me per their terms and conditions; they can change the program at any time. MoviePass to me is not a reliable company, and you do business with them at your own risk.

A month later, Sven wrote after I was turned away from a movie:

Sven (MoviePass Support Center)
Oct 26, 3:00 PM EDT

(name omitted)
Thank you for contacting MoviePass!

Popular showtimes may continue to be limited for a short period, but we will continue to add additional availability. We encourage our members to always check the MoviePass app for the latest films and showtimes before leaving for the theater.

Our schedule of movies can be seen here on our website! They are regularly updated ahead of time to best enable our users to select a viewing date that works for them.

https://moviepass.com/movies/

Please let us know if you have any further questions.
Thank you,
Sven

Sept 19, 2018 Sven, My Movie Concierge wrote me:

We did not alter any terms directly related to the unlimited, one movie per day annual plan until August 15th, and that change was only initiated for select users. Your account is, and has been, unaffected throughout the entire term of your membership. Any changes directly related to your account would have been communicated to you via your account email address.

I wouldn’t believe anything Mitch says. In April 2018 he emailed me:

(Name omitted)

You still have the Unlimited plan.

Mitch

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