For a service that to some seemed too good to be true, it might actually be the case. Customers are reporting service outages for MoviePass users in theaters across the country, leading many to ask whether this is the end of the movie subscription service.
It's been a rough few days, heck, a rough month for MoviePass -- a service that allows users to pay a monthly (or annual) fee to see up to a movie a day in theaters. In June, the company introduced surge pricing for some opening weekend films. Earlier this month, stock prices of their parent company Helios and Matheson plummeted. And over the past few days, users have reported experiencing multiple outages.
In response to a request for comment, MoviePass referred SYFY WIRE to a press release, which states the service will implement new measures to increase profitability, including a monthly price increase to $14.95 and limiting users' ability to purchase tickets for big movies.
"In an effort to maintain the integrity of the MoviePass mission, to enhance discovery, and to drive attendance to smaller films and bolster the independent film community, MoviePass will begin to limit ticket availability to Blockbuster films," states the press release. "This change has already begun rolling out, with Mission Impossible 6 being the first film included in the measure."
In the release, MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe said, "These changes are meant to protect the longevity of our company and prevent abuse of the service. While no one likes change, these are essential steps to continue providing the most attractive subscription service in the industry.”
Last Thursday, users reported they were unable to purchase tickets for Mission: Impossible -- Fallout. The reason? MoviePass was unable to pay their bills, meaning their service providers stopped providing services. After an emergency loan of $5 million, MoviePass was back up and running -- for a minute.
Friday, MoviePass released an open letter to users apologizing for outages and saying that: "As we continue to evolve the service, certain movies may not always be available in every theater on our platform."
Then, today, users on social media began reporting another service outage, this time with entire theaters showing no movies available for MoviePass customers, leading many to assume the worst.
According to Business Insider, MoviePass held a meeting today where CEO Mitch Lowe said upcoming big movies, like Christopher Robin and The Meg, would not be available for MoviePass customers. By the end of the day Monday, MoviePass was trending on Twitter, with many tweets assuming death of the service was imminent. Both the customer service Twitter account for the service (@MoviePass_CS) and the main account (@MoviePass) haven't been active in over 8 hours at the time of publishing.
Has it just been a rocky week for MoviePass, or are these signs of a slow march toward death? Are you canceling your subscription or riding out the wave?