The cash-poor and beleaguered subscription service MoviePass, which lets users attend screenings of theatrical movies for a flat, monthly rate, appears to be unable to book most films Monday afternoon. The outage comes days after the service had a brief interruption after running out of money to pay business partners.
MoviePass borrowed a net $5 million from an investment firm to restart, but subscribers on Twitter are posting screen captures from the app stating no screenings are available. Some users have found showings at Landmark theaters, a 53-theater chain that’s the largest to have signed a contract directly with MoviePass. For most other theaters and all large chains, MoviePass pays full retail price.
The service’s owner, Helios and Matheson Analytics, plunged by 60% to $0.80 before the close of business. The stock traded at an equivalent of a high of $13.62 last November, factoring in a recent 1:250 reverse stock split in an attempt to maintain a minimum price that would keep shares listed on NASDAQ. MoviePass has three million subscribers paying $10 a month, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
While the service started with an unlimited viewing model, its terms became more restrictive to staunch losses from its business model, which never had a clear path to profitability. Just today, Business Insider reported that the firm’s CEO, Mitch Lowe, told employees that it wouldn’t offer passes to Christopher Robin and The Meg, big upcoming releases, following on the heels of having no screenings for Mission:Impossible—Fallout this last weekend. The company also recently said it would add surcharges for busy screenings.