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MoviePass declares bankruptcy

The service won't be coming back this time.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
January 29, 2020
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REUTERS/Mike Segar

You knew MoviePass wasn't long for this world when it shut down service in September, and now it's ready to bow out completely. MoviePass and its parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics have declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy -- that is, they're dissolving instead of trying to restructure under Chapter 11. Accordingly, the CEO, CFO and remaining board members have all resigned.

Helios and its subsidiaries had looked at "strategic alternatives" to closure that included a sell-off, but there hadn't been public signs of a buyer.

The bankruptcy ends a brief but tumultuous chapter in subscription services. MoviePass garnered considerable buzz when it promised all-you-can-watch viewing, but its decision to drop the monthly fee from $50 to $10 was unsustainable even with restrictions. Opposition from major theater chains like AMC didn't help, either. And then there was erratic behavior that included inconsistent plans, location tracking controversies and even forced subscription changes. It represented the textbook example of an internet-driven service without a healthy business model, and its death seems less like a tragedy and more like an inevitability.

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