MoviePass, the long-beleaguered cinema subscription service that rewrote the rules for going to the movies, will shut down Saturday.
Its New York-based parent company Helios & Matheson Analytics Inc. on Friday said that it would be "interrupting" MoviePass' service for all its subscribers, citing failed efforts to raise capital for the money-hemorrhaging business.
"The company is unable to predict if or when the MoviePass service will continue," the company said in a statement.
Helios & Matheson, the data company that bought a majority stake in MoviePass in 2017, said it has formed a committee of independent directors to explore "strategic and financial alternatives" for the company, including a sale of the firm as a whole, or a sale of all its assets, including MoviePass.
MoviePass was founded in 2011. It gained a large following in 2017 when Helios & Matheson reduced its price, allowing subscribers to see virtually unlimited movies at theaters for a monthly fee of $9.95.
The service quickly grew to 3 million subscribers, but it business model of subsidizing moviegoing proved unsustainable. At a price of less than $10 a month, MoviePass' fee was less than the price of an average multiplex ticket in Los Angeles and many other places.
Helios and Matheson took a number of steps to tamp down the bonfire of cash, including limiting the number of movies users could see and blocking the most popular films in theaters. Nonetheless, the business continued to struggle and the stock lost almost all of its value. The company was delisted from the Nasdaq stock exchange earlier this year.
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