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MoviePass will invest in films to have a stake in their success

It can benefit from the movies you're subscribed to watch.
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izusek via Getty Images

MoviePass' pseudo-unlimited subscription theater service is increasingly popular, but that doesn't mean it's profitable -- it currently has to subsidize tickets, which isn't exactly sustainable in the long run. The company's solution? Secure a stake in the movies themselves. It's launching a MoviePass Ventures subsidiary that will "co-acquire" films alongside distributors. While the details aren't entirely clear, MoviePass expects to benefit from the entire pipeline, whether it's the initial theatrical release, streaming services or in-flight viewing.

The company is betting that its impact on movie performance will convince companies to hop aboard. MoviePass normally accounts for roughly 3 percent of US box office sales, but that figure has jumped to 10 percent or more when it uses its app and overall platform to influence viewing, such as The Post and The Shape of Water. In short: if MoviePass takes a share, it could do more to promote a movie and help its success.

This is more about leverage than profiting from the movies themselves. MoviePass might persuade partners to lower the price of the tickets they offer, and might convince more companies to buy the viewing information it sells. There is a chance this could skew MoviePass' promotions too far in favor of its investments (a brilliant indie flick might be overshadowed in favor of a mainstream title), but this might be the key to making its offering a financial success.

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