Almost two years after MoviePass declared bankruptcy, it could be making a comeback. A New York City court granted cofounder Stacy Spikes ownership of the company, and Spikes hopes to bring back the service next year.
"We are thrilled to have it back and are exploring the possibility of relaunching soon," Spikes told Insider. "Our pursuit to reclaim the brand was encouraged by the continued interest from the moviegoing community. We believe, if done properly, theatrical subscription can play an instrumental role in lifting moviegoing attendance to new heights."
Spikes said he bid under $250,000 for the company, though the assets don't include customer data or email addresses. It remains to be seen whether Spikes will get a new version of MoviePass off the ground. For now, there's a placeholder site where people can sign up for updates.
Along with cofounder Hamet Watt, Spikes created MoviePass in 2011. The idea was fundamentally sound: for a monthly subscription, you could watch a certain number of movies in theaters each month. After buying MoviePass in 2017, HMNY introduced a new pricing plan that, for a time, let members see a movie a day for just $10 a month.
The popularity of MoviePass skyrocketed, but the revamped business model proved unsustainable. The company burned through hundreds of millions of dollars before collapsing. A documentary series charting the rise and implosion of MoviePass is in the works.
Regal Cinemas, AMC and Alamo Drafthouse are among the theater chains that rolled out their own subscription plans over the last few years, though Alamo's is on hold at the minute. It's unclear how MoviePass will exist alongside those and whether it will develop better relationships with theaters this time around.
Meanwhile, as Stacy-Marie Ishmael of Bloomberg noted, MoviePass is now once again a Black-owned company. If Spikes is able to revive it, MoviePass would become one of the more prominent Black-owned businesses in the US.
— stacy-marie ishmael (@s_m_i) November 11, 2021