MoviePass, the movie ticket subscription service that shut down in 2019 after losing more than $100 million in a single quarter, is looking to rise from the dead next year.
MoviePass co-founder and former CEO Stacy Spikes, who now runs PreTechnology, bought the company, and is mulling ways to relaunch the service as movie theaters return to business following COVID-19 shutdowns, according to court filings.
This week, a New York bankruptcy court judge approved Spikes’ purchase of MoviePass for a paltry $14,000, according to the Wall Street Journal. In court papers, Spikes laid out a new business model for the failed service, which had offered moviegoers unlimited visits to cinemas for less than $10 a month before it ultimately filed for bankruptcy in January 2020.
“Researching the consumer behavior with the new proposed business model with a sample group of 1,000 customers this fall is critical to further funding of the project, as well as being able to raise capital at the beginning of the year,” Spikes said in court papers.
The exec, who served as MoviePass’s CEO and chief operating officer between 2012 and 2017, plans to test a souped-up business strategy during the busy holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day in hopes of rebooting MoviePass by the fall or winter of 2022, court records revealed. No further details were disclosed on what that may look like.
MoviePass fans have eagerly awaited a relaunch of the trailblazing service, as a new website, Moviepass.ventures, teased a comeback earlier this year. Founded in 2017, MoviePass quickly drew more than 3 million subscribers to its service, which media watchers deemed too good to be true.
Customers abused MoviePass’ cheap price by binge-watching the same films over and over, buying tickets for friends and family who didn’t subscribe to the service, and in some cases, purchasing a movie ticket just “to go to the restroom in Times Square,” Ted Farnsworth, CEO of MoviePass parent Helios, said at the time of its shutdown.
Adding to its problems was the fact that movie theater chains like AMC and Cinemark began to roll out their own ticket subscription services, causing MoviePass to add new fees to the biggest films and prime time slots. In September 2019, it shut down indefinitely, with Helios and Matheson filing for bankruptcy four months later.